County board unanimously approves $5.78B spending plan

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a $5.78 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins Saturday. 

The spending plan is $94 million higher than what was originally proposed two months ago. The hike includes $40.1 million for road maintenance, a $28 million advance payment for future street improvements and $25 million to create an investment pool to ease the affordable housing crunch. 

The increase means that spending is envisioned to be over $420 million more than in the current fiscal year. Advocates for a variety of causes are expected attend the hearing to call for even more spending, pointing at the county’s large budget reserve account.

If the proposed budget is passed, county employment would remain stable at more than 17,400 positions, although there are planned increases and decreases in jobs in individual departments to align with workloads. 

Public safety functions would receive $1.8 billion, a $72.8 million increase over the current year. Public safety makes up nearly one-third of the proposed spending plan and 43 percent of staffing. 

The Health and Human Services Agency would get $1.9 billion, or an extra $44.8 million over the current year, mainly to spend on addressing homelessness and behavioral health, as well as child welfare and aging services. The HHSA accounts for just over one-third of the budget and 36 percent of county  employment.

Spending on capital projects would total $154.1 million, with $49 million of that going to a sheriff’s technology center. Another $20 million would go toward renovations at juvenile justice facilities in Kearny Mesa, with $11 million earmarked for upgrades at the County Administration Center. 

Capital spending in the county budget can vary widely from year to year, depending on the status of projects. 

The county plans its budgets in two-year cycles. A $5.28 billion budget is projected for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

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