(KTSF by Sean Au)
Mayor Ed Lee announced the City’s first two-year budget plan with an emphasis on preserving funding to the Department of Public Health and Department of Human Services. The two-year budget plans to eliminate a total of $638 million in deficit.
“I am happy to report I am presenting a responsible and balanced 2-year budget,” says Mayor Ed Lee. “We spare the city the deep cuts we have experienced over the last several years and the one that I am presenting to you in a San Francisco economy that is recovering.”
Mr Lee says that he has rejected any proposal to cut funding public health and human services programs. His budget will also reinstate federal funding cuts to services for people with HIV/AIDS.
Mayor Lee reports that the unemployment rate in the City has fallen from 9.6% from early last year to the current 7.4%. The City has also created some 22,500 new jobs. He days his budget will continue to invest in the economy. Key items include a yearly infrastructure investment of more than $40 million and also $4 million which goes into a revolving loan fund to help small businesses.
The Mayor plans on giving the school district $6 million from the City’s Rainy Day reserves to help close its deficit. The school district says out of the 204 pink slips issued, 97 will be rescinded as a result.
This budget has been drafted under the Budget Committee Chair Carmen Chu and is likely to get support from the full Board of Supervisors.
“I have the needs of a lot immigrant communities in my district,” says Supervisor John Avalos. “We are trying to find a stronger work force training program and ways to support entrepreneurs, and hopefully, I can find a little money in the budget to help seed that work in my neighborhood.”
The Board of Supervisors will discuss the budget in detail in June.
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