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Councilman Blumenfield on Filling the Gaps in the L.A. City Budget

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The City Council’s Budget, Finance and Innovation Committee has been hard at work nuancing and improving Mayor Bass’ proposed budget for next year, helping fill gaps, improve services and ensure that our city is more fiscally sound. 

As Chair of this committee, this is a job I do not take lightly. Not only have we gone over where every tax dollar is going, my team and I have strived to make the process as transparent as possible. So I want to let you know what next year’s spending plan includes. 

While the Mayor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2024-25 was technically balanced, the financial foundation on which it rests is frighteningly thin. This is not her fault, it is a reality of our economic situation. The combination of new labor contracts, no more COVID related dollars from the state and federal government, and lower than expected receipts have created a bit of a perfect storm. Although the budget remains ‘bare bones’ and dire, the committee was able to secure new funds and make funding swaps that enable key priorities to be bolstered and serious funding gaps to be bridged.

Every year, I ask constituents to fill out a quick budget survey to help guide us about the priorities of the West Valley. This year your top responses included public safety, street and sidewalk maintenance, and improved park services. I’m proud that we made some progress on many of these priorities. Not only are LAPD and LAFD fully funded, we also were able to include a big upgrade for LAFD with new radio systems and more. 

We found new funding to restore over 100 positions at StreetsLA- this means avoiding layoffs of the people who pave our streets and repair our sidewalks. We were able to fund 85 more positions at Recreation and Parks so maintenance crews won’t be disrupted, and many incredible programs serving toddlers to seniors and our sports teams will continue to thrive. 

And, a bit of new spending included $6.5 million to help offset the serious state and federal government cuts to local domestic violence programs.

At the end of the day, these are your tax dollars and you deserve to know where your local taxes go. I won’t sugarcoat the realities that this was a rough budget in terms of cuts, revenue and the fact that many city services will not improve this year. We did everything we could to do more with less and stretch every dollar, but we can only spend what we have. 

I’m very grateful to our colleagues in the offices of the Chief Legislative Analyst and City Administrative Officer who helped us take a deep dive into the books to find funds to improve key programs. 

As always, if you have any questions related to the budget process, please do not hesitate to write to me at

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