SAN FRANCISCO - California lawmakers have promoted from within to replace the state's longtime legislative analyst.
Mac Taylor, one of two deputy legislative analysts, will replace incumbent Elizabeth Hill as analyst after she retires Friday, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee announced yesterday.
Taylor will become only the fifth legislative analyst since the position was created in 1941.
Hill is retiring after 22 years as the legislative analyst, and 32 years working for the Legislative Analyst's Office.
Taylor is also a veteran of the nonpartisan office, hiring on 30 years ago and serving as a deputy analyst since 1990.
As deputy analyst, Taylor has overseen the LAO's coverage of overall state budget issues, education, local government, capital spending, and state administration. He's also had oversight of the administration of the analyst's office itself, which has a staff of about 60 people.
The office's mission is to provide analysis and nonpartisan advice to the Legislature on fiscal and policy issues. For budget issues in particular, the office has a reputation for straightforward analysis that separates fiscal facts from legislative assumptions.
In November, the LAO will publish its annual Fiscal Outlook report on California's finances, an exercise that will be of particular interest this year after lawmakers adopted a late budget based on assumptions that already appear to be falling short, according to monthly reports from the Department of Finance and the controller's office.
"Clearly the news is not good," Taylor told KQED radio yesterday at the press conference announcing his appointment.
The 16-member committee voted unanimously to hire Taylor, the Sacramento Bee reported.
"I have a deep respect and admiration for the work of the legislative analyst, and I am confident that Mac will uphold the high standards and thorough analysis that is the hallmark of the Legislative Analyst's Office," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement.