The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted a final budget today that, for the first time in five years, is balanced by revenues and does not rely on borrowing from reserves or by implementing service cutbacks. Although unemployment rates remain at historically high levels, Los Angeles County is seeing improvements in revenues from property and sales taxes.
The $24.9 billion-budget, includes more funding for the Department of Animal Care and Control, the sheriff’s department overtime pay, $15 million for affordable housing and $4 million for the care of severely mentally ill patients. In addition, the Chief Executive Office will identify $1.5 million for the Museum of Natural History to expand its programs and $3.5 million for a pilot project at Camp Kilpatrick that will improve education and rehabilitation for youths in custody.
In addition, the budget calls for 10 percent of unspent money to go into a rainy day fund. Due to labor’s partnership and the board’s fiscal prudence, the county avoided the layoffs, furloughs and draconian service reductions that plagued other jurisdictions across the United States since 2008.
Not included in the budget are the unforeseen costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, which will put a great deal of financial pressure on all counties to care for the uninsured.
“As we move forward, the county continues its effort to adopt a budget that advances public safety and reinforces the social service safety net in a fiscally prudent way,” said Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas.