A Los Angeles City Council committee began the lengthy task of breaking down Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposed 2019-20 budget Tuesday ahead of the new fiscal year that begins July 1.
The Budget and Finance Committee’s process over the last few years has tended to take several weeks as it works to come up with a revised budget that can win majority support from the full council.
“This is the longest, most detailed hearing of any committee of the year, and we will be going over the course of the next week-and-a-half or so over the budget’s of every department, and we will be taking public comment on the budget every day,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, chairman of the committee, to open the meeting. “We will be considering potential policy changes, we will be considering efficiencies. We will be going through the mayor’s proposed budget with a fine-tooth comb and hearing from all of the relevant staff members who will be able to respond to our concerns.
As it dives in, the committee is looking at the biggest proposed budget in the city’s history, with an overall $10.6 billion budget and $6.53 billion in general fund revenue projected for the coming fiscal year along with record reserves.
Garcetti is proposing big increases in infrastructure investment, police technology, police overtime, illegal cannabis enforcement and support for the homeless.
Krekorian has already expressed support for Garcetti’s priorities.
“The mayor has laid out a vision for Los Angeles that charts our course for an ambitious future. When I took office in 2010 during the throes of the Great Recession, the projected deficit for this year was over $1 billion,” Krekorian said earlier this month when the proposed budget was released. “Through years of hard work and tough choices under the mayor’s leadership, we built up the strongest reserves in our city’s history. And for the first time since I began leading the city’s budget oversight seven years ago, the proposed budget will eliminate our structural deficit based on the city’s forecast and create structural balance.”
The proposed budget is his strongest to date since taking office in 2013, Garcetti told reporters earlier this month.
“It’s a budget that lifts up people in need. It’s a budget that gives everyone an opportunity to share in growth and opportunity, and it’s a budget that tells a story of a back-to-basics approach to delivering services that people depend on and need,” Garcetti said.