12/19/2011 by Fred Silva

LAO Report: GPAA could save state millions

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), which provides nonpartisan fiscal and policy analysis for the Legislature, finds that the California Forward Action Fund’s Government Performance and Accountability Act (GPAA) would - over time – save the state millions of dollars.

In a report issued late last week, the LAO said savings from the GPAA would come from improved program efficiencies and budget reform.

Local governments who work together to develop Community Strategic Action Plans (CSAP) would see an immediate influx of dollars to the tune of about $200 million. The state will see long-term savings in program costs and increased revenues, thanks to “changes in the fiscal authority of the legislature and governor.”

The measure also constrains the Legislature’s authority to increase costs or decrease revenues without corresponding fiscal offsets; authorizes the Governor to reduce spending in the budget; and shifts state funds to local governments to implement new plans. 

The LAO outlines three important fiscal effects of the GPAA:

  1. Allocates a portion of the state sales tax for local governments to improve services through better collaboration.
  2. Alters fiscal authority of the Legislature and Governor in a fiscal emergency
  3. Modifies budgeting practices and provides more public information how programs operate and if they are improving results.

The LAO also finds that the state would see long-term savings, because of stronger, more stable budgeting practices.

To read the full report, click here.

Fred Silva is California Forward's senior fiscal policy advisor.

Categories: Governance Reform, Selected Blog Posts, Budget Reform

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