San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee presented his budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 to the Board of Supervisors today, outlining his two-year financial plans for every city department.
He presented an $8.6 billion budget for each year. As of March, there was a $55.7 million shortfall in the first fiscal year, followed by a $133.4 million deficit the following year.
The mayor’s balanced budget addressed those shortfalls by looking at health and pension cost projections, tapping in to a minimum wage reserve and other increased business costs, and balancing one-time investments such as the opening of the new San Francisco General Hospital building in December 2015, among other types of wrangling of costs and cuts.
According to the mayor’s office, about half of the budget goes toward city business operations such as the Port, Municipal Transportation Agency, the airport, Public Utilities Commission and others, while the other half supports public services such as the Public Health, police and fire departments, Recreation and Parks departments and other similar entities.
The report noted funding for emergency medical services, mental health and substance abuse treatment services for $6.2 million, and restoration of $3 million for HIV and AIDS support.
An additional $21.6 million would be invested in homeless and eviction prevention, while $2.8 million would go toward supporting senior residents.
A key aspect of the budget was the mayor’s goal to create 30,000 new and rehabilitated housing units by 2020, including 10,000 units for low- and moderate-income residents.
There was $50 million set aside for these housing goals in the proposed budget.
The mayor renewed his pledge to increase the city’s minimum wage by including in the budget allowances for increased wages for city staff and contract workers.
As to transportation costs, the mayor included funding for a 10 percent service increase on the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency’s bus and rail systems, while addressing crowding and reliability issues.
City streets received a proposed $83.5 million slice for two years’ of repaving and improvements.
The full budget proposal can be viewed online at http://sfmayor.org/index.aspx?page=880.
The budget must be voted and approved by the Board of Supervisors by Aug. 1 before it returns to the mayor for his final approval and eventual adoption.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News