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Heading To A Ballot Near You: Should LA County Dedicate Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To Community Investment?

(Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
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This November, L.A. County voters will decide whether to divert hundreds of millions of dollars from law enforcement and other programs to community investment initiatives.

On Tuesday, County Supervisors voted to place a charter amendment on the November 3rd ballot to require the county to spend a sizeable chunk of its budget on programs such as housing, youth development, mental healthcare and criminal justice diversion.

If voters give it the green light, the county would be required to designate at least 10% of its locally-generated, unrestricted annual revenue to community investment initiatives. The County CEO’s office projects this could mean reallocating $360-496 million from other budget priorities, including a $110 million cut to the Sheriff’s budget.

Supporters have dubbed this the “Reimagine L.A. County” charter amendment. It was developed with groups pushing for criminal justice reforms and greater spending on social services.

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Board Chair Kathryn Barger was the only “no” vote. She cited concerns about how moving the money could result in county worker layoffs or reductions in the sheriff’s department budget.