Budget and Finance

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Board of Equalization faces heavy criticism for mismanaged funds

Created to make California’s tax system work better, the Board of Equalization has found itself under a cloud of radical criticism, plunging it into a moment of extraordinary crisis.  “At a chaotic budget hearing for an agency that collects a

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California budget may hit tax rebate threshold

  The saga of Gov. Jerry Brown’s budgetary labors has taken an unexpected twist, potentially triggering an all-but-forgotten provision designed to funnel money back to taxpayers.  In 1979, taxpayer advocate Paul Gann spearheaded a ballot measure designed to place a curb

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‘Gender injustice’ behind call to reduce taxes on tampons

SACRAMENTO – In his veto message of a series of tax-reduction bills last September, Gov. Jerry Brown explained that “tax breaks are the same as new spending – they both cost the general fund money.” He said such measures should

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California “donor state” status a political football

  Some Californians have long complained of their state’s status as a so-called “donor state” — one that sends more money to Washington than it receives. But as political tensions with the White House have heated up, and some federal funding

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California, Trump on collision course over sanctuary cities

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said his administration would block federal funding for cities that don’t cooperate with federal immigration laws, with Democratic leaders in the state vowing to fight back. A handful of California cities, like Los Angeles and

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State finds savings in minimum wage increase, but counties get the bill

The good news: Last year’s deal to increase the minimum wage won’t cost the state nearly as much as was projected.  The bad news: Providing certain health care services just became way more expensive for the counties.  The Brown administration is ending

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Brown budget projects $2 billion deficit, calls for more savings

Gov. Jerry Brown preached prudence on Tuesday as he unveiled his 2017-18 state budget, proposing no new major spending programs while taking a wait-and-see approach to the incoming Trump administration, even as other prominent California Democrats brace for the unknown.

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LAO report: $1.3 billion state building plan lacks oversight

The $1.3 billion first phase of a project to build and modernize 11 state office buildings lacks adequate accountability and oversight and is behind schedule, according to a report.  The report, released by the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office on Wednesday, identified three

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LAO: State’s reserves could weather mild recession, face “considerable uncertainty”

Although it faces “considerable uncertainty,” the state’s budget could survive a mild recession for four years without a tax hike or sharp cuts, according to a new report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office. The LAO warned that the stock market fluctuations and other

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Does the Secure Choice state-run retirement plan guarantee against taxpayer bailouts?

Arguably the biggest selling point for Secure Choice — the state-run, automatic retirement account measure signed into law last month — is the promise that taxpayers won’t be on the hook in the event of a loss. The law has several

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