City Council To Vote On Villaraigosa’s $7.2B Budget
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to vote Monday on a $7.2 billion budget proposal that delays layoffs but makes close to $70 million in cuts to city services and shrinks the city’s workforce by more than 400 positions.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s proposed budget called for the elimination of 669 positions, including 269 layoffs. The budget seeks to close an estimated $238 million budget deficit.
The mayor’s draft was amended last week by the City Council Budget and Finance Committee, which approved a plan to delay the layoffs until January 1 after budget officials scraped together around an extra $16 million in revenues and found additional cuts to make in city departments.
The budget makes cuts across a wide swath of city departments but mainly relies on new revenues to close the deficit. They include $10 million from increases in parking fines, $48.6 million in residual money from the now-defunct Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, and $28.5 million in reimbursements from the state for medical services provided by the Fire Department.
The budget calls for some one-time fund transfers from special dedicated funds to the city’s general fund, which pays for basic city services. The budget would transfer $32.6 million from a special parking fund that is supposed to pay for improvements to parking infrastructure.
The money to delay the layoffs came from a variety of sources, including about $6.6 million in one-time revenues, $2.4 million from an increase in parking fines and $5 million in unused funds across a wide variety of city departments. An additional $5.8 million became available after the Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller revised upward the amount of property tax revenue that will go to the city.
The budget would also cut about $1.5 million from the mayor’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office.
The committee’s approved budget restored about $40 million to the embattled Los Angeles Fire Department, which has been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent months over its inaccurate and improperly reported emergency and fire response times.
The recommended budget gutted funding from a proposal by Villaraigosa to provide seed money for a new nonprofit economic development entity to replace the defunct Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles.
The City Attorney’s Office also took a large hit. Deputy city attorneys would have to take 34 furlough days starting July 1 in order to save $9.4 million.
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