The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will discuss the proposed $6.8 billion budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, up more than $300 million from last year’s budget.
The increase is the result of spending more for the homeless and mental health programs. The county will shed 41 jobs due mostly to not filling vacant positions.
County officials are proposing spending $304.8 million more than for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
It is the first budget for the county since closing out its debts in the 1994 bankruptcy case in November. And this month the county will make its final payment of $55 million in the settlement with the state over a dispute on Vehicle License Fees.
County officials are expecting 4% growth in property tax revenue in the coming fiscal year, which starts in July. Property tax revenue is expected to be up $40.9 million over last year.
Income from Proposition 172, the half-cent sales tax increase approved in 1993 for public safety services, is slated to increase $10.4 million over this year, allowing for $345.5 million for public safety funding, $276.4 million for the sheriff’s department and $69.1 million for the District Attorney’s Office.
Plans for addressing homelessness include funding to relocate the Courtyard emergency shelter in downtown Santa Ana to a new facility in partnership with the city, County Chief Executive Frank Kim outlined in a letter to supervisors on the budget.
The Health Care Agency is requesting money for 123 new positions and $16.9 million for mental health services in the jails and $800,000 for “in-custody reentry services.”
In District Attorney Todd Spitzer’s first budget, county officials have approved a plan for four new posts for a Post-Conviction Litigation Unit and two positions for a Recidivism Reduction Unit.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes wants to budget $6.4 million for two new inmate transportation buses, 128 new vehicles and to upgrade a closed-circuit television system.
Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley wants to budget $760,000 for a new voting system that will scrap the precinct system and create centers where voters can cast ballots no matter where they live. Of that money, $300,000 is for ongoing costs and $460,000 is considered a one-time expense.
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