Villaraigosa’s $7.2B Budget Expected To Include Cuts, Layoffs

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is set to release the city’s new budget Friday afternoon.

He is expected to call for dozens of layoffs in several departments in an attempt to close a $238 million budget deficit.

Details about the $7.2 billion budget plan come two days after Villaraigosa delivered the State of the City address, in which he called for a permanent half-cent sales tax increase to fund major transit projects.

He also asked voters to support a November ballot measure that would eliminate the scheduled 2039 expiration of the Measure R sales tax.

If passed, the measure would allow the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to finish the transit projects in 10 years instead of 30, which would create 152,000 jobs, according to the mayor’s office.

Villaraigosa, who wants to use $2.5 million to start a new city-funded economic development department, is also asking workers to pay more for their health benefits to cut costs.

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