San Francisco budget built on ‘peaceful’ process nears passage 

Supervisor Carmen Chu — chair of the board’s Budget and Finance Committee — expects when the full Board of Supervisors votes on the proposed $6.8 billion budget it will go smoothly with little change and likely unanimous support.

And even though it took the committee until 3 a.m. to finish deliberations, Chu said during a Wednesday morning briefing in her office that “it was a fairly peaceful budget process this year.”

But the process wasn’t without its sticking points, including whether to contract out security services at two city hospitals without costing jobs and saving $3.3 million this current fiscal year.

Chu, who spoke in favor of the proposal, said “we always imagined the budget would be balanced with or without” contracting out those services. In the end it was without.

“Sometimes it’s a line in the sand about people’s perception about whether or not we should ever contract out,” Chu said. “It’s a bit of a false argument. You think about all the nonprofit organizations that we do contract out for, each of these organizations are all providing services that potentially could be city employee jobs. We never say that these nonprofit organizations provide the level of service that is not necessary.”

The full Board of Supervisors votes on the budget Tuesday. The City faces next fiscal year a deficit of $200 million to $300 million, but that is subject to change. There are two November ballot measures that could reduce the shortfall, a half-cent sales tax and dueling pension measures.

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