About SOR

Established in 1969 by the California Senate Rules Committee, the Senate Office of Research (SOR) is a nonpartisan office that provides research for Senate members and committees. Its mission is to produce comprehensive and reliable research to inform effective public policy.

SOR policy consultants specialize in subject areas and have a range of expertise and skills. They work with state senators throughout the stages of the legislative process—by generating problem-solving ideas, gathering and analyzing data, preparing briefing papers, crafting legislation, organizing informational hearings, and assessing implementation of enacted laws.

Other primary roles of SOR are to prepare information and analyses for the Senate Rules Committee as it considers the confirmation of governor’s appointees to state agencies; track and analyze emerging federal issues; and serve as a liaison with academic institutions and other researchers outside the Capitol to help bring their research into policy discussions.

Thank you for visiting this site, which contains our published reports. We hope the information presented here is helpful to you, as we strive to provide thorough and objective analysis on matters that impact all Californians.

What's New

The LOSSAN Rail Corridor: Advancing the Corridor's Capital Investment Priorities
Ted Link-Oberstar, December 2023
This report analyzes challenges faced by the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) rail corridor in securing funding to deliver critical capital investments. It examines the corridor’s complex governance structure, relationships among key stakeholders, and the budgetary and strategic priorities of the major passenger operators and suggests several options to advance development of a robust corridor-wide capital development program. These include adoption of a framework for a common corridor vision, incentives for stakeholder collaboration and accountability, an expanded leadership role for the state, and changes to the local governance structure.  This report was prepared at the request of the Senate Transportation Subcommittee on LOSSAN Corridor Resiliency for presentation at its December 11, 2023, hearing. 

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Transportation Investment Opportunities
Ted Link-Oberstar, March 2023
The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) substantially increased available federal funding for transportation and other infrastructure priorities. This document, prepared as background for a March 14, 2023, joint informational hearing by the Senate Transportation Committee and Budget Subcommittee #5, summarizes California’s share of annual transportation funding and available competitive funding opportunities. In addition, it briefly discusses several federal initiatives, including some codified through IIJA to address equity among disadvantaged populations.

How Often Do Governors Say No?
October 2022
First prepared in 1988 by staff of the Senate Local Government Committee, the publication shows annual tallies of chaptered and vetoed bills back to 1967.

Federal Update: Federal COVID-19 Relief Funding for California’s Housing and Homelessness Response
Ted Link-Oberstar and Bridgett Hankerson, January 2022
This federal update summarizes federal funding provided to the state of California as well as local and tribal governments and public housing authorities to assist with housing and homelessness issues in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes brief program summaries and identifies funding allocated as of the publication date. This report may be updated as warranted.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Transportation Overview
Ted Link-Oberstar, November 2021
This report summarizes major transportation provisions of the broad federal infrastructure bill enacted in November 2021, which includes a five-year reauthorization of surface transportation programs. It outlines major funding increases included in the bill, describes many new competitive grant programs, and highlights changes to federal policy and grant funding criteria intended to prioritize issues such as climate, equity, and sustainability.

Health Actions During President Biden's First 100 Days in Office
Monica Montano and Kendra Tully, June 2021
This federal update highlights health-related actions and policy changes made in the first 100 days of President Biden’s administration and explores how the changes will affect California.

Growth of Behind-the-Meter Electricity Generation: Impacts to State Budget Revenue
Paul Jacobs, February 2021
This report investigates how behind-the-meter electricity generation affects the revenue from state electricity consumption charges—including by erosion and cost shifting—and presents options for legislative consideration.

Final Countdown to Census 2020
Sara Noceto, February 2020
This paper describes the roles of the U.S. Census Bureau, the California Census Office, and the demographics and characteristics of California’s population that will make the state hard to count during the Census 2020 effort. Prepared at the request of the Senate Select Committee on the 2020 U.S. Census.

Los Angeles and Orange Counties: Census 2020 Challenges
Sara Noceto, December 2019
This background paper summarizes the particular challenges that Los Angeles and Orange counties face in obtaining an accurate count during the Census 2020 effort. Prepared at the request of the Senate Select Committee on the 2020 U.S. Census.

The Impact of Paid Family Leave Policies
Rebecca Rabovsky, November 2019
This paper is primarily focused on the impact of paid leave policies, particularly California’s paid family leave program, on maternal and infant health, labor market outcomes, and effects on employers. It also includes information about the current status of paid family leave in federal and state law. Prepared at the request of the Senate Select Committee on Women, Work and Families.

Statewide Media Approaches for California’s Census 2020 Effort
Sara Noceto, August 2019
Prepared at the request of the Senate Select Committee on the 2020 United States Census

Gender and Equity in California at the Close of the 20th Century
Julie Salley, June 2019
In 1999, the Senate Office of Research published a report detailing the major accomplishments toward female equality in the 20th century in the areas of civil rights, education, and the workplace.  This brief presents key highlights from that report and describes our intent to release an updated publication later this year on the status of gender and equity in California and the United States in the 21st century.

2018 Profile of the Older Population
Russell Manning, June 2019
A report from the federal Administration for Community Living highlights population growth and quality of life statistics for Americans age 65 and older.  

Issue Primer: Blockchain Technology
Sara Noceto and John Thompson, June 2019
This introductory primer on blockchain technology briefly explains what a blockchain is, how it works, some of its potential applications, and how California and other states are taking steps to explore this emerging technology.

The Active Transportation Program: An Analysis of Program Implementation and Project Selection
Ted Link-Oberstar, April 2019
This report provides an analysis of the Active Transportation Program, focused on the processes for project selection and allocation of funding, and offers suggestions for improvement.

Review of Environmental Leadership Development Projects
Paul Jacobs with contributions from Russell Manning, April 2019
This report describes projects that have qualified for expedited CEQA judicial review pursuant to statutes such as AB 900, Statutes of 2011, and presents options for legislative consideration.

State Investments in Clean Energy and Transportation Technology
Paul Jacobs and John Thompson, March 2019
This report describes the state’s investments in clean energy and transportation technology development through 40 existing financial incentive programs and presents what we believe are important considerations for the Legislature.


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