Los Angeles County, City Talk Budget Cuts Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Los Angeles News

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) ⁠— One day after Los Angeles County announced it was facing revenue declines in the billions due to the coronavirus pandemic, talk of big cuts to both county and city budgets has begun.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathrine Barger reveled Thursday that cuts of up to 25% are on the table for the upcoming budget, but she hoped to avoid layoffs and furloughs.

“At this point it’s premature to assume that anyone is going to have to take pay cuts, furloughs or layoffs,” Barger said.

And Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday night in his briefing that cuts were on the horizon.

“Every department will expected to make cuts,” he said.

On Wednesday, L.A. Controller Ron Galperin released a report estimating that the city will fall about $231 million short in projected revenue in the 2020 fiscal year and as much as $598 million in the 2021 fiscal year.

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Garcetti said he will seek to keep all current police and firefighters during the crisis, but said cuts would have to come from somewhere.

“We may have to delay the hiring of new firefighters,” Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said.

Mayor Eric Garcetti is expected to release his 2021 budget proposal Monday.

The news came as Los Angeles County saw its deadliest day so far in the pandemic with 55 people dying from the disease Thursday.

And though health officials say the road to recovery will be slow, Gov. Gavin Newsom thanked President Donald Trump who said states would be able to set their own timelines on reopening, despite earlier statements that the White House would make the decision.

“I do want to extend, just in broad strokes, appreciation for what I heard from the president … recognizing the differentiation that exists and persists in counties, not just in states,” Newsom said.

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