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  • Author: Andrea Venezia, Su Jin Gatlin Jez
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: California’s community colleges play a wide range of crucial roles in providing educational opportunities for state residents, including providing transfer for students to four-year universities. Transfer students represent about half of each entering class in the California State University System (CSU) and almost one-third in the University of California. In 2010, California enacted legislation to streamline transfer from community college to the state’s four-year universities by creating a new transfer degree. It was implemented in 2012. This study examined how students experience policies and practices related to transfer from community college to California State University in the context of the new degree. Key findings reveal that, although there are improvements, capacity within the CSU and other factors have kept transfer complex and confusing for most transfer students. Major implications are that the state and systems need to continue to simplify the transfer process and strengthen supports for students.
  • Topic: Education, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Brian DiSarro, Wesley Hussey
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: California passed a 2018‒2019 budget with record budget surpluses as the state attention shifted to the upcoming 2018 election. This was Jerry Brown’s final budget after sixteen years as governor, a state record. Brown was concerned the state’s volatile income tax revenues might not hold up during a future recession and wanted to store as much of the surplus away in the state’s emergency “rainy-day” fund. Continuing the annual pattern, Democratic legislators wanted to spend some of the surplus on social services, including the increasing problems of homelessness and affordable housing. In addition, legislators began to address the long-ignored problem of sexual harassment in the capitol and was on the front line of the #MeToo movement, leading several legislators to resign. Democrats did well in the November elections, leading to an even bluer California.
  • Topic: Governance, Budget, State Funding
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Colin D. Moore
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: Hawaii adopted a state budget that authorizes $14.3 billion in spending for FY2019. The Aloha State’s economy continues to benefit from record-breaking tourist numbers and robust federal military spending. Although the state’s unemployment rate is among the lowest ever recorded for any state in the nation, the cost of housing has made it increasingly difficult for working families to purchase a home. Tax revenues are strong, but they remain very dependent on the tourism industry. Hawaii also faces huge liabilities for pension and health care payments that are promised to retired state employees.
  • Topic: Governance, Health Care Policy, Budget, State Funding
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Michael Thom
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: Enacted in 2009, California’s Film and Production Tax Credit was a policy reaction to fears that the state had lost motion picture industry jobs to other states and countries. The incentive has since been allocated over $1 billion in taxpayer funding. Advocates hail the tax credit as a success, but is there evidence to support that claim? This study examines motion picture industry employment in California from 1991 through 2016 to determine the impact of the Film and Production Tax Credit and competing incentives offered by other governments. Results show the tax credit had no significant effect on changes in three occupational categories associated with the motion picture industry. Employment was similarly unaffected by competing incentives. Motion picture industry employment in California instead appears to track the national labor market. These findings were robust to several alternative measures and model specifications and advise that California policymakers should eliminate the Film and Production Tax Credit as soon as possible.
  • Topic: Governance, Culture, Budget, Film, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Gian-Claudia Sciara, Amy E. Lee
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: California has established itself as a leader in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. However, the state has not reflected its ambitious policies for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and climate action in its practices for allocating state transportation funding. This paper reviews the complex systems through which California generates and allocates state revenue for transportation investment. It finds that the state’s framework for funding transportation projects and programs is disconnected from its GHG goals, reflective more of historical political deals than of contemporary climate policy. The paper also suggests preliminary steps for revising this framework to reinforce GHG reduction goals. Such recommendations are particularly salient given the state’s recently completed study of road user charges as an alternative transportation revenue source, as well as the passage of new legislation that restructures the state’s fuel taxes (Senate Bill 1, 2017). Implementation of road charges or any other new or revised transportation revenue source would need to address the disposition of revenues generated. This paper argues that California should use any such opportunity to align the distribution of state transportation dollars with its climate objectives, not fall back on status quo allocation practices.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Governance, Tax Systems, Economic Policy, State Funding
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Jason McDaniel
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: Politics in American cities is largely driven by racial group cleavages, and voting in urban elections is polarized along racial lines. Several cities have implemented a relatively new reform to urban elections called ranked-choice voting (RCV), which eliminates the plurality run-off election by giving voters the option to rank-order several vote preferences. This article examines whether the expanded preference choices associated with ranked-choice voting reduce the level of racially polarized voting in mayoral elections. In the first stage of analysis, precinct-level election results from Oakland, CA, and San Francisco, CA, are used to explore variation in racially polarized voting before and after the implementation of RCV. The second stage of analysis uses a difference-in-differences design to analyze racially polarized voting in RCV cities compared to non-RCV cities. The results indicate that racially polarized voting did not decrease due to the implementation of RCV. Rather, the results show that RCV contributed to higher levels of racially polarized voting between white and Asian voters.
  • Topic: Politics, Governance, Elections, Local
  • Political Geography: United States, California