Los Angeles County CEO Bill Fujioka unveiled a $26.054 billion budget proposal for 2014-15 today, calling it a balanced package that not only avoids layoffs and furloughs but adds 1,345 positions, including 100 child social workers he said will reduce backlogs and improve the safety of children.
"The county continues to emerge from an extremely difficult economic period and we are proud to have a fully balanced budget," Fujioka said. "This recommendation provides the county with a strong foundation for growth as we move forward."
Fujioka said the spending proposal also includes funding for new public safety workers, including employees to help the county implement recommendations for reducing violence in the county jails -- an issue that was recently targeted by a blue ribbon commission appointed by the Board of Supervisors.
The budget proposal also includes funds for "modest, fiscally responsible raises" for all county employees, ending several years of salary freezes, Fujioka said.
The overall spending plan represents a 0.2 percent reduction from the 2013-14 county budget, which totaled $26.099 billion, according to the county.
In his memo to the Board of Supervisors, Fujioka attributed the county's financial health to "long-standing conservative budget practices and our strong compliance to fiscal policies."
He also noted that while many costs are increasing, the county is anticipating increases in revenues from property and sales taxes.
--City News Service