Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday released his proposed budget for the final year of his first term, suggesting significant increases in funding for anti-homelessness programs as the key element of a 2% increase in overall spending.
The $8.76-billion budget proposal, up from $8.58 billion last year, suggests no radical changes to most areas of government funding. It would slightly increase the size of L.A.’s municipal workforce to just over 33,000, still well below the city’s pre-recession staffing level of 37,000.
But it is homelessness — a subject whose political import far outweighs the relatively small share of city dollars it consumes — that is likely to receive the most attention as the mayor and council hash out the budget’s final version in the weeks ahead.
City officials have adopted a $2-billion plan to house the homeless over the next decade and are already planning to place a new bond or tax on the ballot this fall that would provide long-term funding for that effort. But Garcetti and some council members have also said they wish to provide at least $100 million toward the plan out of the city’s budget before asking voters for more money.
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