Message from Budget Committee Chair: Supervisor Mark Farrell
This year marks my third year as Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee. My goal last year was to develop a consensus budget with my colleagues to create a budget we could all support. We did just that and I am confident we can repeat our success this year. This year I am joined by Supervisor Katy Tang, serving as Vice-Chair and Supervisor Mar will continue his service on the committee. Supervisors Yee and Wiener will join the committee as temporary members on March 1, 2013, as the committee begins its hearings on the City’s budget.
Like last year, I will be working with our city departments, community members and organizations, and the Mayor’s Budget Office to develop a balanced budget for fiscal years (FY) 2015-16 and 2016-17. In November of 2009, voters passed Proposition A, which amended the City Charter to require the city to transition to a two-year budget cycle for all departments by FY 2012-13. The two-year budgets are developed, approved, and implemented pursuant to the same process as the annual budgets. During our budget process this year, we will re-open and potentially revise FY15-16 budget and adopt a budget for FY16-17.
This year the Mayor’s Budget Office is projecting a $21.2 million General Fund shortfall for FY 2015-16 and a $ 66.5 million shortfall for FY 2016-17, based on current operations, staffing levels and estimated revenues. This projection may change depending on a number of things including the economy, additional State of Federal impacts including the Affordable Care Act, open labor contract, benefit costs and current year overspending or supplemental appropriations. For the first time in fifteen years, the Mayor’s Budget Office did not ask Departments to make any reductions in their budgets. Although the current deficit projections look better than last year, we will still be forced to make difficult decisions to produce a balanced budget.
Last year I led the charge on the consensus deal that was unanimously passed by the Committee that found over $40 million in budget savings with over $23 million for fiscal years 14-15, and over $18 million for fiscal years 15-16.
With the additional savings, the Budget and Finance Committee was able to:
• Secure $3 million in increased funds for homeless services including rental subsidies, eviction defense and homeless prevention efforts
• Add $2 million in increased funds for food security
• Increase in funds for Vision Zero – Pedestrian efforts throughout San Francisco
• Add additional park patrol officers
• Increase funds for the SFFD arson investigation team
• Increase funds for crucial city cleaning and maintenance services throughout the city
• Invest in youth and senior specific services
• Maintain our continued investment in public safety
This website will provide information to guide you through the budget process, including public input opportunities at Board of Supervisors’ meetings, department budget presentations and reports from the Budget & Legislative Analyst’s Office. As always, please feel free to contact my office as well.