A budget proposal by Governor Brown that would severely impact public safety in Los Angeles County is currently being considered in the state legislature. If adopted, this cost-shifting proposal will cause Los Angeles County to experience "financial hardship and cash flow problems"--and that's the
of what will happen, not ours.
At issue is the non-federally funded cost to California for a program that provides in-home care for low-income seniors and the disabled. Governor Brown wants counties to pick up 35% of the program cost for California; Los Angeles County's share will be more than $200 million in the first year. By 2021, the projected costs of the Governor's proposal will cost Los Angeles County $500 million a year.
Los Angeles County budget
is substantial, only about 15% is discretionary and can be spent on programs chosen by the Board of Supervisors. A substantial portion of the Sheriff's Department funding comes from this discretionary account; in the 2015-2016 county budget that accounted for more than $1.1 billion of the Sheriff's Department budget.
Part of this discretionary budget has been set aside to account for the impacts of Prop 47 and the upcoming public safety effects of Prop 57.
Make no mistake, the magnitude of the cost shift threatens Los Angeles County General Fund spending, most of which is currently applied to public safety among other state and local priorities. If the state legislature adopts the proposal by Governor Brown, then the only source for the county to get the additional $200 million for this program cost will have to come from this discretionary budget.
In fact, the county has already issued a directive to the Sheriff's Department to hold the line on spending and to prepare for potential budget curtailments effective July 1, 2017. That will likely mean deep cuts to the Sheriff's Department funding. Ongoing efforts to meet staffing demands, increase training and other much needed programs will be compromised.
It is irresponsible for the state to suddenly shift such a massive cost for a program to the counties of California that it acknowledges will cause extreme financial hardship. We urge the state legislature to work with the counties to craft a more sensible solution.
We do not believe the most recent proposal from the Assembly on March 8, 2017 to provide a "cash flow loan" to counties to cover the massive cost is viable. That loan will simply obligate future revenue growth to be used to pay the loan, preventing the Sheriff's Department from receiving growth revenues.
If you care about public safety, please take a few minutes to write to your
(senator and assemblyman) or better yet, call their office(s) and voice your opposition
Voice your concern over the
Governor's proposal to dismantle the
Coordinated Care Initiative
and shift additional In-Home Supportive Services costs to counties.
Make your voice heard now before cuts to public safety occur. If you don't know who represents you, your legislators' email addresses and phone numbers are only a