Budget vote postponed, talks between board and mayor continue 

The Board of Supervisors and Mayor Gavin Newsom failed to come to an agreement Wednesday about the proposed $6.5 billion city and county budget. The board’s Budget and Finance Committee, chaired by Supervisor John Avalos, had planned on taking a final vote on the budget proposal at its 5 p.m. meeting Wednesday. That meeting, however, was postponed as negotiations between the supervisors and mayor dragged on. At around 12:30 a.m., Avalos officially recessed the meeting, saying there remained issues that needed to be “ironed out,” and the meeting would start at the earliest at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

While on Wednesday it appeared that much of the budget was settled, stinking points had to do with November ballot measures.

The supervisors have been reviewing Newsom’s $6.5 billion city and county budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1, looking to reject specifically about $20 million worth of revenue savings or generating proposals in Newsom’s budget they disliked and working to find another $20 million to restore cuts made to health, substance abuse and other social services as part of Newsom’s budget when he closed a $483 million deficit.

A final agreement on the budget appears to be Newsom’s desire to leave off the November ballot a number of measures proposed by Supervisor David Campos that would erode the power of the mayor by splitting up the appointment power with the board for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors, which oversees Muni, the Recreation and Park Commission and the Rent Board.

While the committee had planed to take a final vote on the budget Wednesday, it could take days longer. The full board is not scheduled to take the first of two votes on approving the revised budget until July 20.

Thursday morning, Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker told The Examiner, “We are hopeful and confident we can achieve a balanced budget that does not require new taxes and negotiations with the board will continue this morning. As the mayor has made clear for weeks, he will not spend money the city doesn’t have and he continues to have significant concerns about proposed charter amendments that would severely impact the budget and jeopardize The City’s finances and governance.”

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