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How Coronavirus Could Devour LA County's Social Safety Net

A a row of homeless tents above the 101 Freeway earlier this month near downtown L.A. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
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As L.A. County leaders confront the large holes that the coronavirus crisis has carved into tax revenues, they're expressing fear that social safety net programs could be endangered without a new round of federal help.

Extended foster care, substance abuse beds and hotels rooms for homeless Angelenos are just a few programs Los Angeles County supervisors invoked while they discussed the upcoming 2020-21 budget on Tuesday.

So far the county has dipped into reserves to cover a $1.3 billion shortfall for the current fiscal year, primarily due to lost sales taxes while the region is mostly at a standstill. The new budget kicks in July 1 — and it brings another billion-dollar gap to fill.

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