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1,000 City Hall Layoffs, Cuts to Cultural Affairs & Other Programs Not Recommended for Approval by City Panel

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A full house at Monday's Budget & Finance Committee meeting at City Hall | Photo by Alex Thompson/Westside Bikeside
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Close to ten hours into a Los Angeles City Council budget committee meeting late Monday night, the money-saving move to layoff 1,000 employees was not approved, despite a $208 million budget deficit. At first, the layoffs were approved by Councilmembers Bernard Parks, Greig Smith and Bill Rosendahl with Paul Koretz and Jose Huizar against it, but Rosendahl quickly balked, siding against the layoffs.

Miguel Santana, the city's top budget official, warned that by not acting on the layoffs only pushes the issue until a later time. "There'll be more [layoffs]," he said, referring to his report that states "the daily cost of postponing 1,000 layoffs is approximately $338,000, which equals four more positions that need to be eliminated to generate the targeted savings."

Additionally, enough votes were secured to recommend saving a handful of other controversial proposals, including the suspension of Cultural Affairs Grant Programs and the elimination of Environmental Affairs, Disability, Neighborhood Empowerment and Human Services Department.

"Can I ask where we're going to get 1,000 people if we keep on saving these departments?" the fiscally conservative Smith, who was clearly exasperated, asked in response to attempts at stopping the cuts.

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Although some of the cuts and layoffs were saved by the committee--it's merely a recommendation, some would even call it a symbolic move--they will still likely be discussed and possibly voted on during the full City Council meeting on Wednesday.