Supervisor Barger Issues Statement on Supplemental L.A. County Budget for 2022-2023
Los Angeles, October 4, 2022 – Supervisor Kathryn Barger today issued the following statement after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Supplemental Budget as the final phase in adopting the County’s $44.6 billion budget – which included a $5 billion increase after the County’s Auditor-Controller made final adjustments in revenue amounts from the prior fiscal year:
“Our County’s budget, adopted today, is better balanced. It reflects some progress I’m proud of and some causes I’ve been incessantly championing, such as enhancing public safety and addressing the crisis in Men’s Central Jail.
It’s important that we continue to invest in keeping our communities safe from crime. Our budget allocates 205 additional positions to the Sheriff’s Department with funding to provide two more academy classes so we can add deputies to its rank-and-file, which I’ve advocated for since we first started the budgeting process months ago. These academies also train police officers from other law enforcement agencies throughout the County, so this is a significant win for public safety regionwide.
This budget also reflects a commitment to improve the abysmal conditions in our jails. Approximately $149 million will be used to increase mental health clinicians and custody staff in our jails and at the Inmate Reception Center. We will also create a new psychiatric urgent care unit in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility. Our County must meet its constitutional duty to humanely care for the inmate population who cannot be diverted. While we still have a long road ahead, our heads aren’t in the sand. We’re on the right path.”
Supervisor Barger also shared some thoughts regarding the County’s future funding outlook:
“We were fortunate to have an additional $5 billion this year to support the County’s priorities and programs, but I’m concerned that our Board is using one-time funding from pandemic relief and other sources for programs that will have ongoing and escalating costs in the future. Economists are saying our economy is slowing down and that a recession looms ahead. I’m a strong believer in exercising fiscal prudence with taxpayer dollars. I am encouraged by our robust Rainy Day Fund so that we don’t have to implement lay-offs or cut services when tough financial times arrive. Almost three-quarters of our budget goes to the most vulnerable population that lives in L.A. County. They look to us for their survival and the County is their safety net. We can’t fail them.”