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2017-2018 Los Angeles County Budget: Moving Forward with Optimism in Uncertain Times


Los Angeles County today unveiled a proposed $30-billion balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 that reflects the County’s continuing determination to serve its most vulnerable residents while improving the quality of life in communities across the region.

"This budget proposal is built for progress, even in the face of budget uncertainties at the state and federal levels," said Chief Executive Officer Sachi A. Hamai. "With investments in homeless services, child protection and healthcare, it is, at heart, about helping people."

In addition to targeting key priorities of the Board of Supervisors, Hamai said the recommended budget embraces the County's longstanding commitment to conservative fiscal practices, which consistently has led to strong credit ratings and allowed the County to avoid service cutbacks or layoffs even in the most difficult financial times. The CEO’s spending plan, which must be approved by the Board of Supervisors, calls for a $137 million increase over last year's budget.

Among the Board initiatives funded in the 2017-2018 recommended budget:

  • Homelessness and housing: Provides an estimated $355 million annually in voter-approved Measure H funding for homeless reduction and prevention services. Projected to help 45,000 families and individuals escape homelessness while preventing 30,000 others from becoming homeless in the measure's first five years.

  • Children and families: Allocates $45.1 million, 220 new social workers, and 107 support staff to reduce Department of Children and Family Services caseloads and promote child protection. Also reflects more than $25 million for critical foster care system improvements and $7.2 million and 58 positions to improve mental health care in the child welfare system.

  • Justice reform: Adds $1.5 million and 10 positions for the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission and $4.2 million and 22 positions for Alternate Public Defender implementation of the Countywide Juvenile Indigent Defense program. Also provides $90 million for a wide array of jail diversion and re-entry programs.

  • Healthcare innovation: Reflects $90 million and 25 positions to launch Whole Person Care, a five-year initiative to provide comprehensive and coordinated services to the sickest, most vulnerable Medi-Cal beneficiaries in the County. Also provides $3.7 million and 19 positions for five new Mental Evaluation Teams and a triage call-desk, enhancing frontline collaboration between the Sheriff's Department and Department of Mental Health.

  • Infrastructure improvements: Provides $758.7 million for capital projects and refurbishments to expand, replace or refurbish capital assets and infrastructure encompassing a range of recreational, cultural, public safety, health and general governmental functions. Also reflects $109.1 to improve the environment through storm water, soil and groundwater projects.
The County’s budget was prepared at a time of financial uncertainties at the state and federal levels. For that reason, County departments have been directed to submit budget-reduction proposals. “Although it is our hope that budget reductions can be avoided,” Hamai said, “the County must—and will—be prepared to act, if necessary.”

The recommended budget is just the first step in a process that will stretch across the next several months and will include public hearings and budget deliberations by the Board of Supervisors. Adoption of the budget is expected in late June. For additional details, please visit lacounty.gov.