The Los Angeles City Council on Thursday unanimously passed a $9.2 billion budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year beginning July 1, a 5 percent increase over the current fiscal year, and nearly $500 million more than what Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed last month.
“This budget invests in traffic safety, will fix more streets than we have in decades, puts more money into housing and serving the homeless than ever before, and increases the number of police patrolling our streets and firefighters stationed in our communities,” Councilman Paul Krekorian said in a statement. Krekorian chairs the council’s budget committee.
The budget includes $176 million in housing and services for the homeless, half of which will come from the $1.2 billion Measure HHH bond approved by voters last November. About $76 million would go towards 400 units of new housing for the homeless and $12 million for six new housing projects.
Other big ticket items include a $91 million increase in the Los Angeles Police Department budget (for a total of $1.57 billion) and a $24 million increase to the Fire Department budget (for a total of $657 million), which includes $10.5 million to hire 195 new firefighters.
The budget also allocates $25 million for street safety measures, $120 million for street reconstruction, resurfacing and pothole filling, and $31 million for sidewalk repair.
And, in a move sure to cause concern from local developers and business groups, the budget keeps a projection of $20 million in revenue from a linkage fee on new development that Garcetti proposed. The linkage fee policy has yet to be crafted.
Finally, the budget sets aside $298 million for the city’s reserve fund, well above the 5 percent policy goal, and $108 million to handle future liability claims, 40 percent higher than recent allocations. The city has been hit in recent months with several large settlement payouts that have strained the current budget.
The budget next goes to Garcetti for his signature, which is expected in the next few days.
Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.