Funding priorities delay budget approval 

click to enlarge Carmen Chu - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner File Photo
  • Carmen Chu

UPDATE: Early Friday morning the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee unanimously approved Mayor Ed Lee’s proposed two-year city budget after making a total of $32 million in spending changes, of which $17.1 million is for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and includes such things as $1.2 million for members of the board to hire a third legislative aide, $4.1 million for a cost-in-living increase for nonprofits doing business with the city, $2 million for increased services in homeless shelters and $460,000 for Department of Public Works to increase street cleaning and landscaping.


No budget deal was in sight late Thursday night as the debate continued over how to cut deeper into Mayor Ed Lee’s proposed two-year spending plan for San Francisco to generate millions of dollars more to spend on the priorities of city supervisors.

The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee had scheduled a 1 p.m. meeting to vote on the budget proposal, but the hours dragged on at City Hall without an agreement on what to fund and also on the amount of funding.

“It seems we are stuck at an impasse,” Supervisor John Avalos said.

Lee introduced his proposed two-year budget, the first year totals $7.3 billion, on June 1 for the board to review and adopt. For the past two weeks, the budget committee has held hearings, made cuts and also benefited from unexpected revenue not included in the original submission.

By Thursday, the committee had $23 million to reallocate as it sees fit during the next two years. Requests for funding from nonprofits and others had totaled $57 million heading into Thursday’s talks.

“Of course we want to finish it today,” said Supervisor Carmen Chu, the budget committee chair. “I think there needs to be movement on both sides.”

She added, “There’s a lot of new things people want.”

Requests include more money for services hit hard by state funding cuts, such as child care, homeless shelters and HIV/AIDS services. Supervisor Jane Kim asked for additional funding to increase homeless services and defense against evictions. Avalos pushed for funding for workforce development programs.

Also outstanding was a funding increase amount for nonprofits that contract with The City. Lee’s budget submission included a 1 percent, or $4.5 million, cost-of-living increase for nonprofits. But some supervisors want as much as 2 percent.

Thanks to a recovering local economy -- a boost credited in part to a growing local tech industry -- Lee’s budget proposal avoided cuts seen in previous years. There were no cuts to health services, and it includes hundreds of new government jobs and pay hikes.

Once approved by the budget committee, the full board will vote to adopt the budget, likely July 17.

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