What You Need To Know About LA's New $10.6 Billion Spending Plan
A day after a sweeping State of the City speech, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti released his yearly budget proposal calling for large investments in improving roads, expanding police overtime and adding resources to help reduce the number of homeless people living on city streets.
The $10.6 billion spending plan includes $6.53 billion in general funds. That's an increase from last year's approved budget of $6.19 billion.
"This proposed budget is a blueprint illustrating how we'll achieve our highest ambitions -- from ending homelessness to improving our infrastructure -- while maintaining a commitment to fiscal responsibility that has helped to drive Los Angeles' economic recovery," Garcetti said in a statement.
The mayor's office described the budget as the "largest-ever investment to end the homelessness crisis."
And at a time when recruitment for LAPD officers has been a persistent challenge for the city, the new budget proposal calls for 40% more funding for overtime. Last year's adopted budget for sworn overtime was $118 million, the new proposals dedicate $165 million toward overtime.
Here's a closer look at some details:
Garcetti's proposal calls for $165 million for LAPD overtime, an increase of $47 million over the current fiscal year's budget. But a February memo from Chief Michel Moore and City Administrative Officer Richard Llewellyn projected the city will actually spend more than $160 million on overtime in the current fiscal year.
A source familiar with the budget process says the mayor and city council historically have budgeted less than what the police department spends on overtime, a practice the mayor in the past has said he'd like to end. -- Frank Stoltze
On homelessness, the budget outlines $422 million of proposed spending. It will be spent on an assortment of publicly and privately operated programs aiming to shelter, serve, and permanently house the 31,285 people who are houseless in Los Angeles.
The biggest chunk -- $281 million -- will be used to build housing for poor and formerly homeless residents. That comes from voter approved Proposition HHH, a 1.2 billion bond measure funded by property taxes.
$35 million flows to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), a partner agency between the L.A. City and County that administers the bulwark of homeless services and case management in L.A. County.
There are also about $50 million of costs incurred by encampment clean-up programs, spread across the city's police and sanitation departments, as well as LAHSA. Last year that number was about $30 million.
Leaving tens of thousands of people on the street creates serious public health concerns, but there's disagreement about whether the way the city cleans-up encampments is the best way to address the problem.
Critics say these sweeps destroy personal property, make it harder for people living outside to end their homelessness, and are more about trying to make homeless people move along than substantively addressing the underlying problems. -- Matt Tinoco
Garcetti's budget proposal includes $348 million dollars for street repairs and maintenance.
That spending includes $22 million dollars set aside to reconstruct about 80 lane miles of the city's worst-condition streets and that's a notable change. (A lane mile is a unit of measurement, so one mile of a two-lane road would equal two lane miles.) Previously the city focused its repairs on keeping good streets in good condition, because the worst ones cost the most to repair.
The budget also includes a total of $3 million dollars for resurfacing alleys.
The budget proposal also outlines a potential upcoming change: the Bureau of Street Repairs budget could go up nearly $30 million dollars more this year, partly due to charging utilities higher fees to cut into the streets, and from the state's higher new taxes on gas and diesel. -- Sharon McNary
Garcetti's proposed city budget includes $40 million dollars in new spending for South Los Angeles. Nearly half that money is for homeless housing at four different locations and some job training.
There's also $2 million dollars allocated to pave alleys and millions more for street improvements on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Crenshaw Boulevard, Jefferson Boulevard, Gage Avenue and South La Brea Avenue.
The budget also has $2 million for a tiny park next to Pio Pico Library in Koreatown that will be constructed on top of new underground library parking and more than $3 million for a new gym and indoor pool at Rancho Cienega Sports Complex. -- Sharon McNary
The budget allocates more than $1.1 million to finish up renovations at the historic Vision Theater in Leimert Park. Once renovations are complete, the theater will host professional performances as well as trained talent from the local community. It will also support a youth arts center. -- Carla Javier
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