Eureka - California's Policy, Economics and Politics

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The closing days of June are busy ones in Sacramento, with lawmakers in a mad dash to complete a state budget by July 1 and the beginning of California’s new fiscal year. About that budget: for the past two decades, the Golden State has wallowed in a boom-or-bust economy that’s alternately left Sacramento’s coffers flush, then depleted. Meanwhile, state spending has relentlessly climbed. In this, Eureka’s maiden voyage, we’ve asked several leading California policy experts to examine the reality of budgetary life in the Golden State: an underperforming K-12 system, strained health services, and a rough road ahead for California’s transportation infrastructure. We’ll delve into the numbers behind the growth in state spending and give you some examples of smart people in Sacramento doing very stupid things. Finally, we’ll wrap up the conversation with a look at why budget reform is a much-discussed but unrealized concept in the Golden State.