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L.A. City Departments Put on a Spending Freeze

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The $484-million shortfall the city of Los Angeles is experiencing has forced the hands of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Controller Wendy Greuel to issue a memo to department heads to stop spending money, save for paying workers and a handful of other acceptable expenditures. "Even as our budget deficit solutions begin to take shape, we must take aggressive steps to guard against cash-flow shortfalls," said Villaraigosa and Greuel in a memo to department heads. "The consequences of inaction are too dire to consider."

The move prohibits spending money on new furniture and equipment (how about staples?), food and beverages, mailings that are not legally required among other expenditures such as decreasing frequency of contracted services that will not create liabilities for the city. Revenue generating departments not affected by the freeze are the LADWP, Harbor and Airport because they do not use money from the deficit-ill General Fund.

Most travel will also be verboten, save for pre-approved advocacy, LAPD investigations and trips related to the prevention of liabilities or degradation of the city's financial status. Villaraigosa is currently in Washington D.C. advocating for large transportation loan.