As anyone who follows the Board of Supervisors on twitter knows, today is Budget and Finance Committee day!

But this isn’t just any Budget meeting — this is the meeting where they talk about how the City will use federal stimulus dough handed out to the city as part of the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage program. Supervisor John Avalos, chair of this committee, called the meeting “to ensure a transparent process on the stimulus funds and explore how we can use these funds to stop the decimation of critical health and human services.”

Of course, this doesn’t seem like a contentious issue on the surface, right? But there’s clearly a divide in thinking on how exactly this money (expected to be between $30-$40M) will be used by SF’s Human Services Agency and Department of Public Health

Avalos’ concern is the same as Brugman’s (assuming you followed the link above): he’s worried the money won’t be used to backfill budget cuts in current programs, and that is might be instead invested in, shall we say, more gubernatorial-looking new ones.

According to BCN, Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard (What? The Mayor has not tweeted his FMAP plans?) says the stimulus money should help address the city’s budget shortfall, and that the city would spend the funding through Human Services and Public Health “on the services for which they are intended.”

It’s important to note that even with this money, the City’s 2010 budget is on track to be $100M in the hole, which Ballard says “means is that current cuts already discussed in health and human services may or may not be restored,”

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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