The Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 14/15 on June 18. With increases in sales and property tax adding about 4.3 percent to the coffers, the County will be able to maintain key services and augment in critical areas.
“Even with state and federal funding challenges, the Affordable Care Act, and increased pension and salary obligations, we were able to address the Board’s key priorities, particularly children, veterans services, homeless outreach, safety net and public safety,” said Bradley J. Hudson, County Executive Officer.
“This budget preserves critical public safety services, needed now more than ever due to State underfunding of prison realignment,” said Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan.
Despite challenges and reductions in certain areas, key services have been augmented, based on the Board of Supervisors’ priorities, including:
Child Protective Services is maintaining 16 positions that were recently added
Adult Protective Financial Abuse Protective Unit
Foster Care program will expand to cover 18-21 year olds due to a new state program – about $13 M
Mental Health Emergency Response Team received a grant of $226,000 matched with $243,000 in additional Mental Health Services Act funds
Mental Health Services expanded due to Mental Health Services Act and related federal matching funds: approximately $30 million
Public Safety including, District Attorney, Probation and Public Defender
“Sacramento County’s FY 2014/15 budget clearly reflects a concern for our health and social services safety net. We made significant investments in child protection, mental health and wrap-around emergency shelter services for transition-age homeless youth, just to name a few,” said Supervisor Phil Serna. “Public input at an earlier safety net workshop, as well as during budget hearings informed these priorities, and all of us on the Board appreciated it.”
The total budget is roughly $3.6 billion. All departments, including public safety and justice departments, which make up some of the county’s biggest costs, worked diligently to craft budgets that maintain services without increasing the size of their budgets.
A significant change in this year’s spending plan is the loss of funds due to the Affordable Care Act. With people transitioning into expanded Medi-Cal or Health Exchange plans, the demand for services has greatly diminished at the Primary Health Care Operation on Broadway. The reduced number of customers called for reductions in staffing levels, including Clinic Services, and Pharmacy and Case Management Staff. The County will work hard to find positions for the people in eliminated positions, 42 of which are filled. It’s still too early to estimate how many will be placed in other positions.
“We’ll continue to work on refining the budget for September, and focus on doing the job people expect us to do. I’m pleased to report that we’ve been able to maintain service levels through diligence, reorganization, and streamlining operations where possible,” Hudson said.
For details, read the County Executive’s Budget Letter or view the budget documents on the Office of Financial Management website. The numbers of the recommended/preliminary budget will change before the Final Budget comes back to the Board of Supervisors in September for review and adoption.
By the Numbers:
$3.6 B - Total budget
$2 B - Total General Fund
$ 529 M - Total General Fund Discretionary Revenue, 2 % increase from last year
10,711 - Total Number of Employees