The San Diego Board of Supervisors recently discussed the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget along with hearing the public’s input for the $6.21 billion spending plan. The proposal for the budget intends to designate $112 million to those who have a mental illness, suffering from substance abuse, experiencing homelessness, and children in the foster care system. Furthermore, it will include public safety costs, pensions, training programs, and the County Fire Authority.
More specifically, the $6.21 billion in allocated funds will give $2 billion to public safety, $2.3 billion for health and human services, $1.3 billion for finance/government, and $651 million for land and other environmental issues. In addition, the Behavioral Health Division will be granted $708.5 million for walk-in services and the funding of 70 Psychiatric Emergency Response Teams, capital projects such as Live Well Centers and a renovation project for the historic San Diego County Administration Center will gain $103 million.
Lastly, the housing trust fund will receive an additional $12.4 million for housing, with the housing trust fund doubling to $50 million. The total budget is $59.7 million less than last fiscal year’s plan due to previous one-time capital projects. Money for ongoing programs, however, will increase by $322.2 million.
On the surface, the budget looks mostly unchanged, but a closer look reveals that the changes are significant. Due to business consolidations, the saved money will be redirected into surplus property housing and community choice on energy. The changes that are included within the spending plan will not be detrimental to the fiscal health—something Helen Robbins Meyer, the county’s chief administrative officer, assured.
There has been advocacy for some additional considerations to the spending plan. These requests include an improved audit system for county elections, funding for the study of human trafficking and gang prevention, and more targeted childcare. The next budget meeting regarding the spending plan will be on Thursday, with the formal vote scheduled for June 25.
Photo by Josh Esh