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After The Money’s Gone…

In its assessment of California’s budget for the current fiscal year, which began July 1, the Legislative Analyst says this about state highway spending: 

“Proposition 1B, a ballot measure approved by voters in November 2006, authorized the issuance of $20 billion in general obligations bonds for state and local transportation improvements…. The budget appropriates $258 million of Proposition 1B funds for various transportation programs. This appropriation level is significantly lower than the appropriations made in recent years because the majority of funds have already been appropriated.” (Emphasis added.) 

Caltrans reports that as of August 31, the Legislature has appropriated $14.2 billion of the $15.6 billion in Read more »



How California Bills Itself to Investors



As of October 2013, California is the Number Two job-creating state with 223,900 new jobs added during the last year and 826,500 new jobs created since the recovery began in February 2010. 


California employers have added jobs for 26 straight months, the longest streak in the nation. 


The number of employed Californians grew by 3.3 percent in the last 12 months — the largest year-over-year employment gain since 1990. 


In terms of GDP, California’s growth rate was 3.5 percent in 2012 – fifth best in the nation. 


California is Read more »



See the Stats in Paragraph Three

From the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation:

SAN QUENTIN - Condemned inmate Richard Ramirez, 53, was pronounced dead early this morning, June 7, 2013. He died of natural causes at Marin General Hospital.

Ramirez, widely known as the “Night Stalker,” was found guilty in 1989 of 13 counts of murder and numerous other counts of attempted murder, sexual assault and burglary.

Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 59 condemned inmates (including Ramirez) have died from natural causes, 22 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri; and six have died from other causes. There are 735 offenders on California’s death row.




Memo From the Grammar Police to California Department of Justice Lawyers

On January 7, 2013 the Brown administration filed a document with a panel of three federal judges asking them to release the state from it’s obligation to lower the population at the Golden State’s 33 prisons to 110,000 inmates – 137.5 percent of design capacity.

(There’s a little under 120,000 inmates at the moment, which is down 43,000 from the peak of overcrowding several years ago.)

This important document and its submission to the panel of judges was the subject of a press conference by the Democratic governor. Excerpts from it appeared in numerous media outlets.

Among the most popular quotes is the third sentence Read more »


What Was Wrong with “Avocado?”

What Was Wrong with “Avocado?”

What’s in a name?

Plenty if you’re the California Health Benefit Exchange, which plans to have a website operational by September displaying the various health care plans several million individual Californians without coverage and the operators of small businesses can purchase beginning January 1, 2014.

A key part of the exchange’s mission is to ensure more uninsured Californians become insured.

To do accomplish that, a great deal of marketing will be required. Lucky, the exchange has been given $90 million for outreach. How that $90 million will be spent — and how effectively — remains to be seen.

But Step One, Read more »



More on State Parks

This from the Brown Administration:


Investigation and Audit of State Parks and Recreation Department Launched in Response to Budget Irregularities and Fiscal Mismanagement 

Governor Accepts Resignation of Parks Director and Orders Resources Secretary to Conduct Sweeping Review of Parks Management 

SACRAMENTO - At the request of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., the state Attorney General’s Office is investigating the circumstances surrounding significant budgetary irregularities at the California Department of Parks and Recreation dating back to at least 2000. Governor Brown has also directed the state Department of Finance to conduct a comprehensive audit of Parks’ fiscal controls and the California Read more »


A Look at Some “Government Efficiencies” in Jerry Brown’s Two Budgets

A Look at Some “Government Efficiencies” in Jerry Brown’s Two Budgets

On page 9 of the Summary of the budget signed by Gov. Jerry brown on June 27, he listed as an accomplishment “eliminating over 50 boards, commissions, task forces, offices and departments.” 

The list below, compiled by Brown’s Department of Finance, shows what’s been eliminated or consolidated. A number of the entities are advisory bodies, whose members are not compensted.

Some, like the Electronic Funds Transfer Task Force and the American Recovery and Reinviestment Act Task Froce completed their work several years ago but their names stayed on the books. 

Others, like the Division of Labor Statistics will continue to do the work Read more »



Brown’s State Reorganization Plan Takes Effect — Tweaks By Lawmakers to Follow

Gov. Jerry Brown’s reorganization plan to reduce the number of state agencies from 12 to 10, took effect July 2 after lawmakers failed to reject it.

The announcement by the Democratic governor came an hour before Senate President Pro tempore Darrell Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat, told reporters he and other legislators planned to make some changes in the proposal which Brown says streamlines the delivery of services and saves taxpayers money.

““This far-reaching plan will make government more effective and will reduce wasteful spending,” said Brown in a statement.

 The state’s Little Hoover Commission, which by law must examine such administrative Read more »



Status of State Park Closures

Below is a June 20 memo from the Department of Parks and Recreation on the status of the 70 parks that were scheduled for closure on July 1. Since the date of this memo, the department has said 69 of the 70 parks will remain open July 1, the original date of closure for the parks on the list.

Providence Mountains in the Mojave has already closed. Forty deals have been struck to keep parks open for at least one year and negotiations to do the same are underway on 25 of the remaining 29.

(A definition of the abbreviations used on the list is near the bottom Read more »