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Proposed county budget boasts zero spending gap

Officials say they can halt cuts and preserve financial reserves

Posted: April 15, 2013 6:41 p.m.
Updated: April 15, 2013 6:41 p.m.

Los Angeles County released a spending plan Monday for its 2013-14 fiscal year that proposes no additional cuts in services and preserves financial reserves for emergencies, officials said.

The $24.699 billion proposed budget calls for $7.335 billion, or 30 percent, to be spent on health; $6.627 billion, or 27 percent, to be spent on public protection; and $6.169 billion, or 25 percent, to be spent on public assistance. Those three areas make up the lion’s share of the spending allocation.

The proposed spending plan is down from the $25.378 billion budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

According to information released by the county, the plan — if approved as is — would take the county to a zero budget gap following five years of chasms between spending plans and revenue that reached a peak in the 2010-11 fiscal year with a $491.6 million shortfall.

During previous years of budget-gap-imposed cutbacks, county departments have seen 15 percent cuts in funding, with some departments enduring 30 percent cuts, officials said in a statement.

For the 2013-14 fiscal year, through careful spending and cost-cutting measures, “We have achieved no major services reductions ... no layoffs, no furloughs,” officials said in the statement.

The county has also been able to preserve financial reserves “which remain available to address future uncertainties, meet cash-flow needs and aid in maintaining the county’s high credit ratings,” the statement said.

The budget proposal’s release Monday is the first step in a months-long process that will include public hearings, deliberations and possible adjustments due to state and federal budget proposals beyond the county’s control, officials said.




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