Even as the state's economy continues to improve, local governments continue to struggle to find ways to meet the state's backlog of infrastructure needs, including water, transportation, energy, affordable housing and more. Inadequate state funding and the demise of federal funding and state redevelopment funding have exacerbated the situation.
At the same time, as a result of rising costs, ratepayers are more demanding than ever when it comes to paying for governmental and utility services. These sentiments have been expressed in a series of ballot initiatives constraining the ability local governments had in the past to simply adopt a budget, and then impose rates, fees or assessments to pay for it. California voters have demanded not only that government be more efficient and transparent, but that it be able to demonstrate the benefit to ratepayers of the government services they are being asked to pay for.
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