Eric Garcetti releases new city budget, targets LAPD and homelessness

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has released his proposed budget for the next fiscal year. His largest to date, the proposed $10.6 billion budget sees new investment in infrastructure, police technology and overtime, and illegal cannabis enforcement.

Garcetti announced his budget proposal Thursday at City Hall. He said the budget will take advantage of a booming economy and the highest reserve fund in Los Angeles history to help Angelenos most in need.

“Through a sound budget, we achieve a strong bottom line and strengthen Los Angeles from the bottom up,” Garcetti said. “This proposed budget is a blueprint illustrating how we’ll achieve our highest ambitions… while maintaining a commitment to fiscal responsibility that has helped to drive Los Angeles’ economic recovery.”

The total $940 million proposed for infrastructure would be an increase of $140 million compared to the previous year. Street repairs and maintenance would get $348 million, along with $117 million for traffic and pedestrian safety projects. Clean water infrastructure would be funded to the tune of $38 million via Measure W, while $3 million would go to cool pavement programs and urban forestry.

New computers for the Los Angeles Police Department and other technology are also among the large purchases, with $14 million allocated for that purpose. Garcetti also set a goal of increasing overtime for Los Angeles Police Department officers by 40 percent, costing $52 million. Illegal cannabis dispensaries would be shot down with $12.5 million in enforcement funding, and the LAPD would be kept above 10,000 sworn officers.

However, the centerpiece of the budget is homelessness funding. $457 million would go to permanent housing, temporary shelters, and other services right out the gate. That number includes $281 million for 27 new permanent supportive housing and affordable housing projects providing more than 2,126 units in Los Angeles.

More than $18 million would go to four new emergency shelter sites in South Los Angeles, scheduled to open soon. These sites, along with others opened through A Bridge Home, would provide syringe collection and HIV testing services.

“It’s a budget that lifts up people in need,” Garcetti said “It’s a budget that gives everyone an opportunity to share in growth and opportunity, and it’s a budget that tells a story of a back-to-basics approach to delivering services that people depend on and need.”

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