April 18, 2022
LA County Unveils $38.5 Billion Spending Plan
2022-23 Recommended Budget Aims to Turn the Corner on the
Pandemic as Focus Shifts to an Equity-Based Recovery
Los Angeles County’s $38.5 billion Recommended Budget—which marks an important step forward in the County’s efforts to move safely through the COVID-19 pandemic and into a broad-based, equity-focused economic recovery—will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 19 by Chief Executive Officer Fesia Davenport.
The spending blueprint, the first step in the annual budget process, builds on lessons learned during the past two years and makes full use of federal and state funds to jumpstart the County’s recovery. Rooted in a deep concern for equity, the budget strikes a balance between ensuring a strong social safety net and funding critical services such as health care, while also continuing to build the foundation for a “Better than Before” recovery that lifts all communities.
“This budget brings to life the policy vision established by the Board of Supervisors and sets a course for the County to strengthen the programs and services we provide to millions of residents each and every day,” CEO Davenport said. “That means continuing to respond vigilantly to an evolving pandemic, while also ramping up to launch new departments focused on key populations and driving major changes in how we deliver services. It’s a dynamic time for Los Angeles County, and this recommended spending plan is intended to reflect that.”
In addition to ramping up to establish new departments focused on Justice, Care and Opportunities; aging and disabilities; youth; and workers and economic development, key recommendations for funding include:
- Prioritizing the County’s fight against homelessness through the mobilization of mental health resources and provision of more housing alternatives to move people off the street. This will be facilitated by $493.3 million in Measure H dollars plus Mental Health Services Act funding.
- Fortifying the County’s system of hospitals and health centers by budgeting 116 new public health positions, 196 new critical care unit nurses, and 41 new positions in support of mobile “street medicine” clinics, among other significant commitments.
- Protecting and empowering youth through a series of investments, including $22.8 million to meet increased demand for full-time childcare for CalWORKs families, $15.7 million for the Youth@Work jobs program and $14.1 million for Department of Children and Family Services medical hub services.
- Doubling Care First and Community Investment (CFCI) funding by adding a second-year installment of $100 million for direct community investments and alternatives to incarceration—on the way to reaching the full set-aside of 10% of locally generated unrestricted revenue for Care First, Jails Last programs, originally spelled out in Measure J, by 2024.
- Continuing the commitment to closing Men’s Central Jail while also protecting the rights of those who remain in custody, with a recommended $15.3 million allocation to support compliance with the federal consent decree governing conditions in the jail.
- Setting aside $12.3 million to expand Sheriff’s Academy classes and train a new generation of sheriff’s deputies—part of a balanced approach to public safety that also includes preparations to launch a new 988 Alternative Crisis Response system that relies on mental health professionals rather than law enforcement.
The Recommended Budget reflects a decrease of $807 million from the 2021-22 Final Adopted Budget but is likely to grow in upcoming budget phases to reflect anticipated one-time federal and state funding. The current total represents an increase of more than $2.3 billion over last year’s Recommended Budget.
More details about the recommended strategies for Measure H spending, CFCI recommendations and recommended allocations for the second installment of American Rescue Plan Act funding are expected to go before the Board in the months ahead.
The Recommended Budget is the first step in the County’s months-long budget cycle, which moves next to public hearings in May, followed by budget deliberations in June. The process concludes with adoption of the Supplemental Budget in October.
Links to Key Resources:
Animated Budget Explainer Video
Extensive Photo Gallery available upon request
A new CEO Budget webpage with additional facts and information can be found here.