Story updated to include more details of the budget.
On a unanimous vote, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have authorized a $30.1 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018, according to Supervisor Kathryn Barger.
“CEO Sachi Hamai and her team have developed a balanced budget that addresses the county’s priorities while still taking a fiscally cautious approach to the use of taxpayer funds,” Barger said in a statement. “This dedication to fiscal prudence will be especially important as we begin to allocate Measure H revenue to implement homeless strategies in the most effective and efficient manner.”
Additionally, the budget includes a $27.4 million allocation for the county’s Rainy Day Fund, “which is vital to ensuring the continued provision of services in the face of unanticipated economic challenges,” Barger said. “I look forward to the supplemental budget phase when we will be able to further augment the Rainy Day Fund.”
Barger commended the Chairman, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the CEO, Auditor-Controller, Treasurer and Tax Collector, and DHS for working to educate credit rating agencies on the county’s fiscally prudent financial management practices.
“[Their] efforts led to a recent upgrading of the county’s bond ratings,” she said.
“The budget adopted today by the Board of Supervisors is about far more than numbers and line items,” CEO Sachi A. Hamai said. “It represents our commitment to improving the lives of those struggling on the margins of society, while also embracing the kind of strong fiscal accountability that recently led to our best long-term credit ratings in more than a decade. This budget is a reflection of our deeply-held values.”
One the biggest allocations in the budget is $258.9 million for Measure H-funded programs to reduce and prevent homelessness in communities throughout the county.
In addition to spending priorities outlined in the recommended budget released in April, the budget contains additional allocations in areas targeted as priorities by the Board.
This includes $19 million for the Housing for Health Program, as well as $28 million and 12 positions for the Office of Diversion and Re‐Entry to expand current supportive housing programs. It adds $15.8 million in Mental Health Services Act revenue primarily for temporary shelter care beds.
In the area of child welfare, the budget provides $10.4 million and 74 positions to the Department of Children and Family Services to improve the way caregivers are approved and prepared to parent vulnerable children in foster care.
It also provides $2.8 million and 22 positions, fully offset by state revenues, to implement the Continuum of Care Reform program, which aims to ensure all youth have the chance to live in a family environment where their needs are met.
Additional investments in mental health, meanwhile, include $8.2 million to operate a new psychiatric inpatient unit at Olive View‐UCLA Medical Center and $4.4 million to establish an agency‐wide call center to support a substance abuse services helpline.
The budget also directs the transfer of 1,563 positions from the Sheriff’s Medical Services Bureau to Integrated Correctional Health Services, implementing the second phase of the integration of jail health services under a single point of leadership.
And, reflecting the Governor’s May Budget Revision, the County budget increases funding for In-Home Supportive Services by $9.6 million.
During today’s budget deliberations, Supervisors also approved increased arts funding for cultural equity and inclusion programs, for the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and for an innovative program that would place artists within County departments as “creative strategists.”
Further, the Board approved funding for a Mobile Stroke Unit pilot program being conducted by UCLA Medical Center and outlined how $25 million in funds from the Wells Fargo Consumer Bank Fraud Settlement would be used to improve consumer protection in the county.
Other changes in the final budget include:
- $95.7 million to implement Measure A, promoting Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks and Beaches
- $5.5 million and 4 additional positions for Zika Virus grant activities, Sexually Transmitted Disease awareness and prevention, and Measure B funding to expand the Trauma Prevention Initiative
- $3 million for the newly established Office of Immigrant Affairs within the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs to provide legal services to County immigrants facing deportation proceedings
- $2.9 million and 18 positions for the Alternate Public Defender to complete its implementation of the countywide Juvenile Indigent Defense program
- $2.5 million for Affordable Housing
- $2 million for the Senior Nutrition Program
The budget adopted Monday brings the County’s total workforce to 109,881, an increase of 886 positions compared to the 2016-17 final adopted budget.