It is now up to members of the
California Assembly to decide whether two of California Forward’s important fiscal
reforms will move forward.

Yesterday, the Assembly
Budget Committee
approved SB 14
(performance-based budgeting) and SB 15 (multi-year
fiscal forecasting), which will bring a new budgeting system to California that
increases stability, focuses on program results and looks to the future.

Assemblyman and budget committee chair Bob Blumenfield co-authored these
bills, after several months of hearings on reforming the state budget process.
Each represents and important element in California
‘s continuing efforts to improve budgeting in California. We
appreciated Mr. Blumenfield’s personal involvement. He is clearly committed to
making program performance a priority. We were also pleased to see the
bipartisan cooperation among committee members, who voted unanimously to
approve SB 14.

Authored by Senator Lois Wolk with extensive bipartisan co-authorship,
SB 14 would require performance measures to be integrated into the budget.
This means programs will be evaluated based on whether they are accomplishing
what they were ostensibly designed to do. To do this, the Department of Finance
will develop evaluation criteria. Then, starting in 2013-14, the budget
will include performance information on select departments. Full implementation
will happen in 2018-19.

SB 15, authored by Senator Mark Desaulnier, would budget not only for
the upcoming year, but require revenue and expenditure estimates for four
additional years. This will give the legislature and the public a better
understanding of proposed fiscal commitments and their implications.

During the hearing, supporters testified about SB 14 and 15’s "impressive list
of bipartisan coauthors," as well as California Forward’s multiyear effort to
work with members on both sides of the aisle to advance the conversation.

Several other organizations testified in support of SB 14 – including the California State Student Association, SEIU 1000, Silicon
Valley Leadership Group
, State Building
& Trades Association
and the California Grocers Association.

Both bills will now be sent to the Assembly floor for possible action next
week, and then on to the Senate for approval of Assembly amendments. If all
goes well, SB 14 and SB 15 should be on their way to the Governor in early