News Briefs

City budget protects against Washington uncertainty

Tackling the city’s homeless crisis will get an annual $30 million boost in Mayor Ed Lee’s proposed $10 billion budgets for fiscal years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. That combined $20 billion would be the envy of many cities (and states and small countries), but it comes with a cautionary note from the mayor about possible budget cuts from the Trump administration.

Lee’s office issued a budget statement that stated “the recently released draft of the federal budget calls for reductions to many of the services and programs that serve our most vulnerable populations. It has called for cuts in housing and social safety nets programs, and health care, while making significant increases in immigration enforcement resources.”

In addition to expanding services for the neediest residents, Lee’s proposed budget creates a $50 million “Affordable Care Act reserve” and a $10 million “State and Federal Impacts reserve” in the event of reductions in outside funds to the city.

According to the budget, San Francisco will increase by 150 percent the number of beds at its Navigation Centers serving the homeless; $6 million will be used to create another Navigation Center; $4 million for homeless childcare; $2 million for new shelter beds specifically targeting families experiencing homelessness. In addition, there will be a new 24/7 resource center and expanded services for homeless in need of mental health and addiction assistance.

Also receiving more money in the proporsed budget will be the city’s roads, which will get an additional $90 million; an 81-percent increase in money for the Recreation and Park Department; and $3.5 million over two years for improving street cleaning. The budget promises to meet the mandated police staffing levels; but overall, the San Francisco Examiner reports, city hiring will remain roughly even after growing rapidly over the past six years.

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