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Even before the arrival of the coronavirus outbreak, Los Angeles city leaders had been facing a budget crunch, in large part because of new pay raises and increased benefits for the city workforce.

Now, the shutdowns triggered by a global health crisis have unleashed a new and potentially more dire financial threat, endangering the city’s ability to maintain existing public services.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is preparing to release his proposed 2020-21 budget next week, has begun looking at the possibility of pay cuts and furloughs for city workers who don’t work in the police and fire departments, one city official said. During his coronavirus briefing Wednesday, the mayor said he and the city’s budget analysts are working to protect as many core services as possible.

“But make no mistake,” he added. “There will be big cuts.”

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