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Spend Growing Revenues On Reducing Growing Cost Drivers

Fred Silva
Senior Fiscal Policy Advisor, California Forward

Editor’s Note: Part 4 of the ‘Boom, Bust, Repeat?’ Series, which explores how the state can smartly manage recent revenue gains to strengthen public programs for the long-term.   While the Boom, Bust, Repeat? series has highlighted lessons learned from the last 15 years of frustrating fiscal choices, there is another reason to be cautious […]

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Budget Rules Will Drive Where Much Of The Extra Money Goes—But Not How It Will Be Spent

Fred Silva
Senior Fiscal Policy Advisor, California Forward

Editor’s Note: Part 3 of the ‘Boom, Bust, Repeat?’ Series, which explores how the state can smartly manage recent revenue gains to strengthen public programs for the long-term.   After more than a decade of revenue booms and busts, it feels like déjà vu all over again—with tax receipts coming in as much as $4 […]

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This Is A Boom, And It Should Be Treated As A Boom

Fred Silva
Senior Fiscal Policy Advisor, California Forward

Editor’s Note: Part 2 of the ‘Boom, Bust, Repeat?’ Series, which explores how the state can smartly manage recent revenue gains to strengthen public programs for the long-term.   A few weeks after Tax Day—and only a week before the governor releases his revised May budget—California finds itself in an enviable position. After years of […]

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Mockler’s Education Plan was Simple, the Legislature Complicated It

Fred Silva
Senior Fiscal Policy Advisor, California Forward

Much has been written about the contributions to public life of Johnny Mockler, who passed away last week. Punditry often focuses on his work in school finance and in particular the Proposition 98 minimum school funding guarantee that the voters approved in 1988. As an initiative measure it arose out of an inability by the […]

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LAO Outlook Analysis: Thinking Smartly About Our Fiscal Future

Fred Silva
Senior Fiscal Policy Advisor, California Forward

What a difference a year makes. California’s recent approval of Proposition 2 is already paying dividends. The Legislative Analyst’s new Fiscal Outlook shows Proposition 2 is doing what it was designed to do: capturing a run-up in unsustainable spikes in revenue, paying down debts and setting aside revenues for the next economic downturn so that education and […]

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California Property Tax Gets Low Grade for Transparency

Fred Silva
Senior Fiscal Policy Advisor, California Forward

With all the talk about the property tax and who pays more, residential or commercial property owners, there is a more basic issue that is missed: Where does the money go? In the case of the income tax, we know which government gets the money: the state. But from the property taxpayer’s perspective, it is […]

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New Ideas for our Fiscal Path Forward

Fred Silva
Senior Fiscal Policy Advisor, California Forward

The topic of conversation, lately, no matter who you’re talking to, seems to revolve around California’s budget nightmare and the trickle-down effect it has, starting from the top, the state, to the bottom, with municipalities. How did we get here and what drastic measures need to be taken in order to get our Golden State […]

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Legislature Fails to Keep Sacramento Honest

Fred Silva
Senior Fiscal Policy Advisor, California Forward

As the press peels back the onion on the issue of budgeting practices and special funds, it is important to see why this is a contemporary problem and why it has not been the focus of anyone’s attention Conventional wisdom Our state budgeting practices have not changed since the 1970s. The state’s fiscal condition has always […]

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California Budget Making – Back to the Good Old Days

Fred Silva
Senior Fiscal Policy Advisor, California Forward

The good old days of secret budgeting are back and the primary victim is a transparent government. There was a time, over forty years ago when the final state budget was written in secret. The final budget deal was hammered out in a secret conference held in the Senate Lounge. The bipartisan group that included […]

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Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of Forecasted Operating Deficits

Fred Silva
Senior Fiscal Policy Advisor, California Forward

Once again the Legislative Analyst has pulled back the curtain on California’s budgeting practices, announcing last week that the state is likely to have a $3 billion deficit at the end of this fiscal year. This means we can expect significant mid-year cuts to education and social services programs under the budget “trigger” mechanism. That […]

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