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SCVNews.com | County Releases Budget; Antonovich Urges Fiscal Caution | 04-16-2013
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Michael D. Antonovich

Michael D. Antonovich

As the County released its draft 2013-2014 budget of nearly $24.7 billion, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said:

“With the county’s budget out of the red, we still face the fiscal iceberg of looming costs associated with the Governor’s realignment policy releasing criminals to local government, Obamacare, pension liability and unfunded mandates.

Realignment has shifted over 14,700 parolees to probation supervision since October of 2011.  Nearly 60 percent are very high risk or high risk with 39 percent medium risk and only 1.6 percent low risk.  Over 11,643 offenders have now been sentenced to county jail instead of state prison, where more than half are currently serving their time.  Some of those are now sentenced to county jail terms of 8,10, 20 and 40 years.

Along with the recommendations by the Jail Violence Commission, the sheriff’s structural budget deficit needs to be addressed to ensure timely response times, and that those convicted serve full jail sentences — not 10 to 15 percent of a sentence, as well as proactive and thorough investigations.

In addition to the impact of Obamacare and pension liability, we also have the unfunded mandates from the state including the storm water cleanup — a state responsibility, not another property tax.

Despite the county’s fiscal uncertainties, it is important we recognize the partnership between our labor partners and the county.  Without that partnership, the county would find itself in the same situation as the city of San Bernardino, the city of Stockton, even the city of Los Angeles which are on the verge of bankruptcy or fiscal chaos.

It’s important that the board continue to have prudent and responsible fiscal practices and continue with caution.

We are also pleased to announce the addition of 50 IMD beds (Institution for Mental Disease Beds) to address the mental health needs in the county.  Since 2008, 274 patients have successfully transitioned into community-based housing and returned to a productive life.”

 

Supervisor Don Knabe

Supervisor Don Knabe

Statement from Supervisor Don Knabe:

Los Angeles County unveiled its draft 2013-2014 budget, totaling nearly $24.7 billion.  The proposed budget, which by state law must be balanced, does not include any cuts in services or employee layoffs.  Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe issued the following statement:

“For the first time since the start of the worst economic crisis since the great depression, we will operate on a budget that does not require the use of reserve funds to plug shortfalls.

“We would not be in this position without our focus on fiscal prudency, as well as the partnerships we have with our labor unions, who have forgone cost of living increases to avoid furloughs and layoffs.  I want to thank our department heads and hard-working County employees for working with us to make significant, across-the-board budget cuts over the last several years.

“We are in no means out of the woods, but with the significant budget cuts we have made and some uptick in revenues, things appear more stable.  However, I remain concerned about significant future financial obligations, such as the Affordable Care Act and Realignment. We must continue to work with our colleagues at the state and national level to ensure that Los Angeles County receives the funding necessary to continue providing mandated safety net services for our residents.

“Our frugality has paid off through the rough economic times.  As we see improvements, however, we must remain as disciplined and continue to operate within our means.”

 

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