Key Issues: Governance

Governance issues in the State of California impact the business climate and the quality and availability of state and local services. This fact is highlighted by California’s budget crisis and by debates surrounding government performance and accountability. As a public-private partnership, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute is committed to working with state and local leaders to propose and support changes to California’s government processes that will improve efficiency, productivity and transparency.

California Budget and Tax Initiative, February 2004

The California Budget and Tax Reform Initiative, led by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and the Bay Area Economic Forum, grew out of strong sentiment coming from labor, business, education, local government, and the community about the crucial role the state plays in our efforts to safeguard this region’s economic environment. Its Statement of Principles was the first significant statewide analysis to identify the most critical components of California government reform.

New California Network

This initiative led in 2006 to the creation of a new statewide organization, New California Network (NCN), to focus exclusively on issues relating to fiscal reform, performance and accountability in state government. In 2006 and 2007, NCN produced a number of seminal analyses of state budget issues including:

California Forward

NCN’s success in bringing attention to these issues, and the pressing but unresolved fiscal challenges facing the State, led to the subsequent creation in 2008 of California Forward, an expanded organization that incorporates and builds on NCN’s work, with multi-year support from a partnership of major California foundations.

Information on California Forward can be accessed through its website at