Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn Thursday, May 27th, signed a $5.4 billion budget for the City of Los Angeles for the fiscal year that begins Tuesday, July 1st.
The city budget had been approved by the Los Angeles City Council Monday, May 24th, after making what are being called “minor revisions” to the mayor’s proposed budget.
A week earlier, Monday, May 17th, the City Council gave preliminary approval to the budget but cut many of the mayor’s proposals.
The council restored several small departments that the mayor had proposed eliminating and restored money for business tax reform.
The City Council also increased the mayor’s proposed reserve fund for emergencies.
After the City Council’s preliminary approval of the budget May 17th, the mayor said he was “pleased” with his budget and intended to approve the budget without any changes after the City Council’s final approval.
“These are tough times and we have to be careful in the future but I think the (City Council) was prudent with what we submitted,” Hahn said after the City Council’s preliminary approval May 17th.
“I firmly believe the recommendations are consistent with the priority outcomes I identified in my proposed budget and have the broad support of those we serve,” Hahn said May 17th.
The seven-inch-thick city budget includes slight increases for police and fire services, street improvements, libraries and a city after-school program called LA’s BEST.
But to close a $300-million shortfall, the budget cuts some 300 city positions and slashes the budgets of five human relations departments by about 20 percent.
The budget also eliminates about $80 million in anticipated expenditures.
The budget includes expansion of the Los Angeles Police Department by 30 officers and shifts $60 million from the Department of Water and Power to the city general fund.
Another $130 million was transferred from city reserves.
“It is significant that we’ve balanced our budget without increasing taxes or decreasing the level of priority services,” the mayor said.
The mayor and City Council members expressed pleasure that the city budget had been approved without the clashing between the mayor and councilmembers that existed during budget discussions in earlier years.
But several councilmembers warned that the city still has to monitor its budget carefully.