Budget (archive prior to 2015-11-29)

We must insist on measuring the long and short-term benefits of government spending after the fact. Too often benefits are promised that never materialize but the spending continues.

We need a thorough analysis of the California State Budget from a perspective which emphasizes results for the people of the state. California, like other states and the federal government, struggles to avoid budget deficits. The great bulk of expenditures in this state are for education (44%) and welfare (26%). While the Greens advocate adequate funding for these areas, we question whether this is being accomplished effectively.
We must examine the results that are achieved by the centralized bureaucracies that manage our welfare and education systems. Are they responding to the needs of the people in the state? It would seem not. The most dramatic example of this lack of responsiveness in recent years was the state's loss of 597 million federal dollars provided to pay for health insurance for the hundreds of thousands of uninsured poor children in the state. There are many reasons for this missed opportunity, but one of the most telling is that there were simply not enough state employees reaching out to the families of eligible children and helping them enroll. During the period that these funds were available California ranked 50th out of the 50 states in the number of state government employees per 10,000 people. We are not advocating increasing needless government bureaucracy, but it was "penny wise and pound foolish" to allow over half a billion dollars in federal money to remain unclaimed and allow approximately 300,000 children to go without health insurance in part because we wouldn't hire more out-reach workers.
Increasing expenditures for prisons are also a concern. Over 6% of state expenditures in 1999, this category of expense is more than double that spent by the state on its environmental protection agency and consumer services units combined.
The Green Party calls for effective government spending: 
Conduct cost-effectiveness studies of the major departments in state and local government.
It should be part of the responsibility of state government to communicate how it is spending the public's money in ways that are accessible to the public.
Make strategic social investments to avoid much greater future costs. For example, investing in public power, quality education and social programs. Providing effective family planning services will avoid later costs associated with neglected children.
Stop the enormous expansion of the prison industry, which is resulting in this being a disproportionately large item in the state budget.