City budget drama continues, vote looms 

The Board of Supervisors will take its first vote on Mayor Gavin Newsom’s proposed $6.5 billion city and county budget on Tuesday.

There continues to be no budget agreement between Newsom and members of the board.

On Tuesday, Supervisor John Avalos, chair of the board’s budget and finance committee, which spent most of June reviewing and making changes to the budget proposal, provided the highlights of what the committee was able to do.

The committee created a $40 million “restoration package.”

“The restorations included $6.5 million for children, youth and family services, $2 million for senior services – actually closing entirely the cuts to senior services – and $3.5 million in cuts that were restored to mental health, substance abuse ad HIV/AIDS services in the Department of Public Health,” Avalos said. “What we have is a package that potentially restores most of the critical services affecting our communities.”

But the package does not have Newsom’s blessing, which means none of the spending choices have to be honored – the mayor is not required to spend money the board allocates – and other pieces of the package remain up in the air, like a $6 million budget supplemental and a “placeholder” of $4 million in salary cuts.

Avalos said Newsom “is not committed to spending our full restoration package and is still engaging in other policy discussion with members of the board here. We have in effect a budget restoration package and a budget that’s still a work in progress.”

Avalos said between now and the board’s first vote he hopes there is an agreement with Newsom to “ensure we will have a budget that is carried out by the mayor and our city departments.”

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