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October 29, 2001

Finance insider takes on state-local finance conundrum

Full Report (.pdf)

Most anyone involved with public policy in post-Proposition 13 California runs headlong into the complicated, seemingly unfixable financing arrangement between state and local governments. Reform of the system has proven elusive, and temporary, band-aid solutions now sit one atop another.

A new, no-nonsense explanation of the problem is now available from the California Institute for County Government. The institute is affiliated with the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento.

The publication, the latest in the institute's "Perspectives" series, is titled "State-local Fiscal Reform - Will We Know It When We See It?"

Written by respected state finance expert Diane Cummins, currently the chief fiscal policy advisor to the president pro tempore of the State Senate, it provides a brief history of state-local financing, some possible reasons it goes wrong and suggestions for making it better.

The California Institute for County Government studies county policy and fiscal issues and offers consulting to county government. It publishes occasional reports and maintains extensive county statistical information, much of which is available on its website.

Copies of "State-local Fiscal Reform - Will We Know It When We See It?" and additional information are available by contacting the institute's director, Matthew Newman, at (916) 324-0796, sending an e-mail to or visiting the institute's website at Additional media assistance is available by contacting CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.


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