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Supervisors approve $24.51 billion county budget

Posted: June 26, 2012 5:34 p.m.
Updated: June 26, 2012 5:34 p.m.


Los Angeles County supervisors approved a $24.53 billion budget for the county Tuesday — along with a 65-cent-an-hour raise for in-home support services employees which held up budget negotiations Monday.

The workers — who cared for disabled and elderly residents in their homes — had not received a pay increase since 2007 and were making $9 an hour, but will now make $9.65 an hour, according to information from the county’s chief executive office.

The cost to the county will be $21.5 million, but the funding will come from the state, said Lori Glasgow, deputy to Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

The approved budget is $74.8 million more than the budget recommended by county officials earlier this year, according to a letter from the county’s chief executive office.

The county’s budget also includes funding 640 new positions because of state prisoner transfers to counties.
A state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April 2011 transfers control of lower-level offenders — including non-serious, non-violent and non-sexual offenders — from state prisons to county jails. The transfers began in October 2011.

Under its new budget, the county will hire 640 positions deemed necessary to deal with the additional prisoners who are now the county’s responsibility.

The county expects a $272.4 million allocation from a percentage of state sales tax and vehicle license fee revenues to pay for the additional salaries, according to the county chief executive office.

The total number of budgeted positions will increase by 301 to 101,726, and the total budget will increase by $18.3 million. The county budget first proposed in April would have been trimmed by $565 million.

Part of the reason for the budget increase stems from estimates of a higher fund balance at year end than originally anticipated, according to a letter from the chief executive office.

The projected budget gap will also be closed by one-time budget solutions, according to the chief executive office.
Aside from the positions required for additional prisoners, hiring for most county positions — besides critical health and safety personnel — will be frozen under the budget, along with non-essential purchases.

In a statement, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said the county budget avoids most of the pitfalls experienced by the city of Los Angeles.

“One of the reasons the county has not seen the level of fiscal crisis that the city of Los Angeles has is due to our partnership with the unions who have agreed to no raises for four years in a row — as well as the fact that the Board of Supervisors does not use one-time revenue for ongoing program costs,” Antonovich said.




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