There is a whole lot of data analysis and number crunching that occurs during California’s budget process. Infographics continue to be the best way to explain complex data to voters in clean, accessible ways.
Yet not too many organizations have used infographics to explain California fiscal state, but that is changing and for the better. Below are the most useful California Budget infographics for the 2014 cycle. If I missed one you think should be included, let me know!
California Budget Project’s Infographic on Legislative Vote Thresholds
Personally, I find a clean process-focused infographic to be invaluable as an explainer on the basic requirements. Due to differing constitutional requirements, the California Legislature doesn’t have the pleasure of Congress to pass everything via majority vote (not that Congress actually approves all that much). As you can see from CBP’s explainer, things you might think would have the same vote requirement really do not. Print it and pin it to the nearest cork board for reference in those important budget strategy meetings.
“The 5 Things” by California Common Sense
The data geeks over at Stanford’s California Common Sense continue to produce great material on the California budget and general California public policy. It would be shameful for me to not include this fully interactive and beautiful infographic which explains the cost of the Affordable Care Act, the size of teacher pension liabilities, changes to K-12 funding, the erratic budget revenue, and the “Wall of Debt”. Obviously there are more than 5 things voters and policy wonks need to know about the State Budget, but CACS chose these five which is their right. Let us hope they show this kind of creativity to more subject areas of the budget. Click through the image to see the full infographic on California Common Sense’s site.
StreetsBlog LA’s Comparison of Cap-and-Trade Spending Priorities
How the State’s cap-and-trade revenues will be spent is a highly debated issue in the Capitol with the Governor and each house of the Legislature all having differing priorities. This fight to expend is the norm for any new and gigantic funding source and is no different for cap-and-trade, except these revenues are supposed to be spent on “carbon reducing” investments. StreetsBlog LA produced a handy infographic on the different priorities to assist enviro-minded budget wonks.
If you know of any other creative displays of California’s fiscal proposals or process, let us know in the comments. I will do my best to highlight them.