California’s COVID-Resistant Tax Revenues

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

October General Fund tax revenues came in 37 percent above the 2020-21 Budget Act forecast, according to the latest Finance Bulletin from the California Department of Finance. Revenues through the first four months of the current fiscal year now exceed forecast revenues by $11 billion: Revenue collections from March, when the state’s COVID-19 state of […]

Read more

NY Times Says CA “Sorely Needs Revenue.” An Analysis

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

A recent article in the New York Times about election results in California included the following sentence (underline added by me): “A measure that would have raised taxes on commercial landlords to raise billions for a state that sorely needs revenue also seemed on track for defeat.” The reporters did not provide support for their […]

Read more

LA Can Save $398 Million Right Now

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

Friday, LA’s City Administrative Officer announced the city’s budget deficit could reach $400 million to $600 million by the end of the current fiscal year. According to page 201 of LA’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, LA spends $398 million per year supplying health insurance subsidies to retirees under the city’s other post-employment benefits (OPEB) program. […]

Read more

California’s Tax Revenue

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

According to the October Finance Bulletin issued by the Department of Finance, California’s tax revenues in September were 43 percent greater than forecast by the 2020-21 Budget Act enacted in June. Revenues for the first three months of the current fiscal year are now $8.7 billion greater than forecast. That’s good news for programs worried […]

Read more

San Francisco’s Retirement Spending

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

When we’re not studying state finances we read financial reports issued by cities and school districts. Recently we took a look at the City and County of San Francisco where annual cash spending on pensions and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) more than doubled from 2010 to 2019: Unfunded liabilities more than tripled to $8.3 billion:

Read more

Sacramento Pension Spin

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

When I started focusing on California pension matters in 2005 I quickly learned that Sacramento is a company town. The company is government and in place of shareholders are government employees who spin financial and legal fictions about pensions to journalists living inside the same beltway. Journalists at that time generally bought the spin but […]

Read more

California Must Do Better in Delivering Services

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

Dear Legislators, We are increasingly concerned about poor performance of critical state services. According to the US Department of Labor, in June only 52 percent of First-Time Claims for unemployment in California were addressed within 14 days and according to the San Francisco Chronicle, teachers at San Francisco Unified School District have been given no […]

Read more

In Support Of More Prison Reforms In California

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

Nearly five decades ago, elected officials in California started enacting sentencing laws that rapidly filled the state’s prisons. Only in the last decade did that process start to reverse. Effecting political change is not for people with short attention spans. Momentum for reform continues and Govern For California has been pleased to support organizations like […]

Read more

California’s Debt Folly –Unnecessary spending on retiree health care is crushing the Golden State.

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

California has asked Washington for $14 billion in Covid-related support, in addition to the $8 billion already provided by the CARES Act. But because the state, with an annual General Fund of $150 billion, incurs more than $24 billion of annual expenses for pensions and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) — including post-employment subsidies for health […]

Read more

How to Free the Budget Hostages

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

Governor Newsom’s Revised Budget proposes cuts to programs in the event more federal COVID funds are not provided. We propose a solution that would free the 10 programs below and improve the state’s structural deficit without jeopardizing the financial security of retired state employees. The first eight programs would be funded by savings from substituting Oregon’s or Colorado’s programs for providing […]

Read more