Fiscal Issues

Fiscal Rankings

Many of California’s various governments are in financial distress, facing fiscal challenges that may lead them to insolvency. While the reasons are different for each governmental unit, there are costs that our state, counties, cities and school districts can no longer ignore, whether it be their unfunded pension liabilities, bond indebtedness or unsustainable personnel costs. It is long past time to provide a useful fiscal assessment of these costs so the legislature can better address the challenges ahead.

In order to accurately assess the fiscal health of thousands of governmental units, I am constantly reviewing their audited financial statements as presented in their Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, or CAFRs, for short. Using a per capita unrestricted net position (UNP) of these governmental units provides a strong proxy of their fiscal health. Below are links to the most recent reports:

Sen. John Moorlach Ranks California’s 482 Cities for Financial Soundness, March 14, 2018

Download Cities Report (pdf)

Sen. John Moorlach Ranks California’s 58 Counties for Financial Soundness, March 20, 2018

Download Counties Report (pdf)

Sen. John Moorlach Ranks the States for Financial Soundness, May 1, 2018

Download States Report (pdf)

Financial Soundness Rankings for California’s Public School Districts, Colleges & Universities, October 2, 2018

Download Education Report (pdf)

Measuring California's Fiscal Health

Moorlach's Measures