LA County Supervisors Review Proposed $45.5 Billion Budget

LA County Supervisors Review Proposed $45.5 Billion Budget

Homeless people get on a bus to go to a hotel as part of the Inside Safe program in Los Angeles on April 12, 2024. (Keith Johnson)

City News Service

City News Service

4/23/2024

Updated: 4/23/2024

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected to provide preliminary feedback April 23 on a $45.5 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2024-25.
Fesia Davenport, county CEO, unveiled the proposed budget Monday. The spending plan represents a reduction of $1.4 billion from the current fiscal year.
While the proposed budget is lower, Davenport has said it will maintain the county’s priorities on housing, homelessness, public safety, and more.
The proposal also calls for 835 new positions -- more than half of them in the Department of Mental Health -- for a total of 116,159 budgeted positions in the county workforce.
The proposal includes $728.2 million in anti-homelessness funding, including money to hire more outreach workers, housing navigators, mental health clinicians, and substance abuse counselors.
About $300.6 million, equal to 10 percent of ongoing locally generated unrestricted revenues, is being directed to the Care First, Jails Last effort as outlined in Measure J, which mandates funding for community investments and alternatives to incarceration.
An additional $223.4 million in one-time funds from previous budget cycles would be made available for Care First Community Investment programs.
Davenport said $95.6 million would assist foster families, prospective adoptive parents and relatives who foster family members. Another $81.1 million would be made accessible to replace EBT benefits for victims of card theft by skimmers and scammers acting statewide.
Davenport also warned of potential future liability claims of sexual assault under AB 218, a state law that extended the statute of limitations and opened a three-year window for victims of childhood sexual assault to file civil suits, regardless of age or when the abuse took place.
The county is already facing allegations dating back to the 1970s.
“There is no funding in this year’s budget allocated for these cases,'‘ Davenport said. “We are actively exploring options for managing any future costs.’’
She also warned of a number of other financial problems, including budget deficits in multiple critical departments, funding for seismic retrofit of county buildings, the expiration of Measure HHH in 2027, and costs associated with the Department of Justice settlement covering the county’s jails.
“A major economic uncertainty that will influence the growth of the economy is the course of inflation this year, which will help determine how soon the Fed may begin cutting rates,'' Davenport wrote in her budget transmittal letter to the Board of Supervisors.
Following Tuesday’s meeting, county officials will organize a series of public hearings starting May 15.
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