County budget meeting to take place Wednesday

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is holding a budget meeting Wednesday to discuss the $30.8-billion budget for the next year and the fiscal future of the county.

The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in Los Angeles and is open to the public.

The county’s CEO, Sachi Hamai, first unveiled the proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2018-2019 at the April 10 Board of Supervisors meeting.

The new budget reflects a decrease of $800 million compared to the previous 2017-18 budget. General county funds reflect a decrease of $37 million, and special funds reflect a decrease of $763 million. The total number of budgeted positions will increase by 477, bringing the total to 111,111 budgeted positions.

This recommended budget demonstrates the county’s determination to elevate the quality of life for all residents, no matter what their circumstances or paths,” Hamai said.

According to a presentation on the county’s website, $9.8 billion of the money would go to health care, while $7.9 billion would go to public protection. Around $8 billion would go to public assistance, and $714 million would go to recreation and culture.

Of the challenges ahead, an estimated $501 million will be needed over the next five years to address regulatory stormwater and urban runoff compliance in unincorporated areas, such as ones in the Santa Clarita valley.  

Regarding homelessness, the budget would add $14 million to increase permanent supportive housing from 1,000 to 1,500 county-wide, according to county documents. The proposed budget for such housing would be at $34.3 million. Affordable housing budget would be at $30 million in additional funding as part of the county’s five-year plan to develop more housing.

Unmet needs requests, such as funding for facilities improvement and deferred maintenance projects, total almost $1.5 billion for the 2018-19 fiscal year, according to a slideshow on the site.

The Wednesday meeting will be another in a series of presentations leading up to adoption of the budget, which is expected to be in late June following budget deliberations, said county CEO spokeswoman Lennie LaGuire.

Public comment regarding the proposed budget documents, available online, will be heard by the Board of Supervisors on Wednesday.

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