Friday, 19 May 2017 13:02

What’s in the new L.A. City Budget?

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City Council Approves $9.2 Billion LA City Budget, Funds Homeless Services & Traffic Safety

"This budget invests in traffic safety, reduces homelessness, puts more police on our streets and is fiscally responsible.” -Paul Krekorian, LA Budget Chair

From the office of Councilman Paul Krekorian

After nearly three weeks of budget meetings and input from city departments and the public, the Los Angeles City Council, led by Budget Chair Paul Krekorian, approved a $9.2 billion city budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018, which begins July 1, 2017. This is the city’s sixth consecutive budget process overseen by Krekorian.

“This is the most important vote the City Council will take all year because it sets our values and priorities to make Los Angeles a stronger city,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to achieve a healthy and fiscally responsible budget,” said Krekorian. “This budget invests in traffic safety, will fix more streets than we have in decades, puts more money into housing and serving the homeless than ever before, and increases the number of police patrolling our streets and firefighters stationed in our communities.”

Krekorian concluded: “There are still uncertainties with federal government funding and potential liability costs, but I’m confident that we’ve done the work required to protect the city and its residents in the year ahead.”

BUDGET BY THE NUMBERS
• $9.2 billion total city budget (5.2 percent increase over last year)
o General Fund: $5.8 billion ($203 million increase)
o Special Funds: $3.4 billion
• Primary revenue sources: Property Tax, Utility Users’ Tax, Business Tax, Sales Tax, Documentary Transfer Tax, Power Revenue Transfer, Transient Occupancy Tax and Parking Fines

PLANS FOR A RAINY DAY
• $297.9 million Reserve Fund, well over 5 percent policy goal
• $96.25 million Budget Stabilization Fund, highest in history
• $108 million for the Liability Claims Account, 40 percent higher amount than normal

INVESTS TO REDUCE HOMELESSNESS
• $176 million in housing and services for the homeless, the highest amount ever budgeted
o Total of $122 million for permanent housing
o $11.2 million for shelters and prevention services
o $36.8 million for engagement and cleanliness efforts, including $2.9 million for new outreach and sanitation teams
• Total of $176 million includes $89 million funding from Measure HHH bond
o Of that total, $76 million will go toward 400 units of new permanent supportive housing
o $12 million for six new housing facilities.

TRAFFIC AND PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
• $25 million for Vision Zero to end pedestrian and traffic fatalities
• $30 million for street reconstruction to fix our worst streets
• $90 million to resurface streets and fill 350,000 potholes
• $31 million to fix sidewalks

IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE
• $7.1 million to trim trees and remove stumps
• $4.2 million to clean streets and alleys
• $2 million for 24-hour graffiti removal
• $14 million to fund DASH bus expansion
• Funding for Vision Zero Action Plan to reduce pedestrian fatalities

ENSURES PUBLIC SAFETY
• 70 percent of discretionary spending goes to police and fire services
o Fire Department budget: $657 million ($24 million increase)
o LAPD budget: $1.57 billion ($91 million increase)
• $10.5 million to hire 195 new firefighters
• Funds programs and positions to oversee the LAFD Girls Camp
• Allows for hiring of 45 civilians to free up sworn officers and get more cops on the street
• Adds funding for the Latent Print Unit to combat property crimes
• Funds enhanced tools to monitor and prevent cybersecurity intrusion attempts

PROVIDES FOR LA’S NEIGHBORHOODS
• Restores funding for parks and prioritizing hiring entry level positions for local job-seekers
• Expands LA’s Best after-school and summer enrichment to 1,000 additional students
• 15,000 summer youth jobs with HireLA
• Funds staff for Neighborhood Conservation and Historic Preservation Overlay Zones
• Restores funding related to Animal Services No-Kill policy goal

HOW WE GOT HERE
• April 20: Mayor proposed budget
• April 26: Budget and Finance Committee hearings began
o 2+ weeks of hearings
o 44 city departments, bureaus and agencies
o 100+ public comments
• May 18: the full City Council adopted the budget

KREKORIAN HAS AN EYE ON THE FUTURE
• LA is on track to eliminate the structural deficit within the next five years.
• This budget reflects the impacts of LA’s continued economic growth, but the City Council also has an eye on the risks the city may encounter.
• Potential challenges include uncertainties with federal government funding, the costs of ongoing litigation and liability claims, workforce costs (including pensions) and the cost of police overtime.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, represents Council District 2, which includes the east San Fernando Valley. His website is cd2.lacity.org, where you can sign up for news updates. Visit him on Twitter (@PaulKrekorian) or Facebook.


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