LA County CEO Unveils Recommended $38.5 Billion Budget

Hands on the background of American dollars. A man is trying to take himself a big pile of money from hundred-dollar bills

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles County's CEO today unveiled a $38.5 billion recommended budget for fiscal year 2022-23.

The recommendation is $807 million less than the current fiscal year's adopted budget, but $2.3 billion more than last year's recommended budget.

Officials said the budget is expected to grow as the county receives federal and state funding.

``This budget brings to life the policy vision established by the Board of Supervisors and sets a course for the county to strengthen the programs and services we provide to millions of residents each and every day,'' County CEO Fesia Davenport said in a statement. ``That means continuing to respond vigilantly to an evolving pandemic, while also ramping up to launch new departments focused on key populations and driving major changes in how we deliver services. It's a dynamic time for Los Angeles County, and this recommended spending plan is intended to reflect that.''

The proposal foresees a positive economic outlook for the county, with property tax revenues expected to grow by 6% and sales tax revenues estimated to increase by nearly 8%. However, Davenport warned of challenges and uncertainties, including inflation, labor negotiations, continuing impacts from COVID-19, litigation and an unstable geopolitical climate affecting gas prices and global markets.

The recommended budget includes $493.3 million in Measure H funding to help with mental health resources and housing for people experiencing homelessness. It would also add 116 public health positions, 196 critical care unit nurses and 41 ``street medicine'' clinic positions.

The recommended budget would also allocate $15.3 million for continued compliance with a federal consent decree governing conditions in the Men's Central Jail, which the Board of Supervisors has committed to closing. The proposal also includes $12.3 million to expand sheriff's academy classes and train a ``new generation of deputies,'' while continuing moves to rely more on mental-health professionals to respond to some incidents rather than law enforcement.

Also proposed is $100 million through Measure J for ``community investments'' and incarceration alternatives, and support for the county's ``Care First, Jails Last'' program.

Youth investments outlined in the recommended budget include $22.8 million for full-time childcare for CalWORKS families, $15.7 million for Youth@Work jobs program and $14.1 million for Department of Children and Family Services medical hub services.

Davenport will present the budget to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. The budget will undergo public hearings in May and deliberations in June.

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