Posts Tagged: California Legislative Analyst Office

Plain language about managers at California’s high-speed rail system

More uncertainty is emerging about California’s planned $43 billion bullet train system, after a state report recommended a serious shakeup in the management and spending on the joint federal and state project.

As Dan Weikel of the Los Angeles Times reports, California’s non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office released a 28-page report raising serious doubts about both the decisions being made and the decision-makers themselves. The report urges that management of the entire project be stripped from its appointed board — the California High Speed Rail Authority — and turned over to the state Department of Transportation, more commonly known as Caltrans. (more…)

California’s Budget: A Crisis Every Year For The Next Six Years

"Budget justice" rally this summer in San Francisco

This summer California’s negotiations of a balanced budget for a state billions in the red was like watching a car crash. Well, things might get even worse: the Wall Street Journal’s Stu Woo reports that the independent auditing arm of California’s legislature predicts a $21 billion budget deficit through June 2011. Maybe even more disconcerting, the California Legislative Analyst Office says that even in 2015 California will still have a $20 billion deficit (or about 25 percent of the state’s annual spending).

What this means is five or so more years of political paralysis. California requires 2/3 legislative approval of any tax-and-spend decision: Democrats almost uniformly don’t want to cut spending, Republicans almost uniformly don’t want to raise taxes. The Democrats are a majority, but they’re not 2/3 of the legislative body. So unless the way the state is run changes (maybe via constitutional convention), I don’t see how California’s fiscal crisis has a happy, or even somewhat acceptable, ending.