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 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.

Climate Change and Health: Understanding How Global Warming Could Impact Public Health in California
Julianne McCall, November 2018
Part I of this report describes the state of climate change in California and possible effects on human health. Part II summarizes a body of scientific research showing how California’s population already is affected by extreme heat and other suboptimal environmental conditions that could worsen with climate change. Senator Ricardo Lara requested the report.

Catastrophic Loss of Bull Kelp Forests
Teresa Feo, November 2018
This report examines the widespread loss of Northern California’s bull kelp forests and efforts under way to promote their recovery. This investigation was undertaken at the request of Senator Robert Hertzberg, chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. 

How Often Do Governors Say No?
October 2018
A history of governors' actions on legislation from 1967 to 2018.


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