Los Angeles County has unveiled a proposed $32.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 that addresses key social issues while embracing innovation, jobs and quality of life improvements—including the launch of a new “human-centered” voting system and the County’s first Department of Arts and Culture.
“This recommended budget reflects the County’s values and vision, along with its ambitious commitment to improving life for all County residents, especially the vulnerable and underserved,” said Chief Executive Officer Sachi A. Hamai. “Although this recommended budget is ambitious, it is also balanced and realistic, reflecting our Board of Supervisors’ long-standing commitment to responsible, sustainable fiscal practices.”
The programs recommended for funding bring to life a progressive agenda of fighting homelessness, promoting health and well-being, improving the justice system, championing the rights and needs of immigrants, creating better lives for children and families, and enriching communities through recreation and sustainability projects.
It includes funding to promote affordable housing, rent stabilization, job creation and safer roads.
The recommended spending plan also makes a substantial investment in the County’s mental health safety net, with an expanded school safety program, enhanced efforts to address the needs of women leaving incarceration, an increase in the number of treatment beds and initiatives to divert mentally ill inmates out of the criminal justice system.
Among the highlights:
- $424 million to combat and prevent homelessness—a $14.8 million increase as Measure H moves into its 3rd year
- $15.2 million and 77 positions to help clients requiring intensive mental health interventions
- $35 million for affordable housing—part of a five-year plan to reach an annual allocation of $100 million
- $28 million for a modernized voting system—Voting Solutions for All People—which debuts in the March 2020 election
- $17.9 million for 10,000 youth jobs through the Youth@Work program
- $23 million and 37 positions to make it easier to onboard foster and adoptive caregivers, including relatives
- $23.7 million to boost the Office of Diversion & Reentry’s supportive housing supply from 1,500 to 2,000 slots
- $14.3 million for closed circuit TV cameras at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall and the Dorothy Kirby Center
- $10 million for improved health care for jail inmates
- $3.8 million and 32 positions for the County’s new Department of Arts and Culture, launching on July 1, 2019
- $371,000 and 2 positions to expand the Office of Immigrant Affairs
- $78.6 million in sustainability initiatives, including solar energy and water conservation projects at County facilities
- $74.7 million to maintain, build and refurbish parks and cultural facilities
- $52.8 million to maintain and repair roads and fund safety projects
The recommended budget will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. The budget process continues with public hearings on May 15, 2019 and budget deliberations on June 24, 2019.