Message from Budget Committee Chair: Supervisor Mark Farrell
I’m honored to once again serve as this year’s 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 the same members will serve on the committee including Supervisor Mar (Vice-Chair) and Supervisor Avalos. Supervisors Breed and Wiener will once again 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) 2014-15 and 2015-16. 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 FY14-15 budget and adopt a budget for FY15-16.
This year the Mayor’s Budget Office is projecting a $100.7 million General Fund shortfall for FY 2014-15 and a $118 million shortfall for FY 2015-2016, 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. The Mayor’s Budget Office has requested departments submit a budget with 1.5% reductions for FY 2014-15 and an additional 1.0% for Fiscal Year 2015-16. 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, the Budget & Finance committee was able to find over $40 million in budget savings and fund initiatives that were not included in Mayor Lee’s original budget including:
• Fully-funded all of the federal budget cuts to HIV/AIDS services
• Opened a new Recreation and Park clubhouse in every Supervisorial district (Julius Kahn in District 2)
• Added a half-dozen new gardeners for our city’s parks
• Enhanced homeless prevention services for San Francisco’s families
• Enhanced ongoing infrastructure projects citywide
• Added $2 million in direct children services
• Added $2 million in workforce training programs
• Added a one and half percent cost of living increase for our city’s service providers
Not only did we find savings and add services, but as Chair of our Budget and Finance Committee, I continued to push hard for long-term financial planning, and as a result we were able to add a record amount of funds into our city’s budget reserves to protect against the next economic downturn. Although San Francisco is in a much better place financially than recent years, we cannot take anything for granted as it relates to our local economy and must continue to ensure that our City is fiscally responsible, safe and successful.
This year we will also pursue a robust community process so that we can hear from you to obtain your input on budget priorities, concerns and ideas. This website will provide information to guide you through the budget process, including potential Budget Town Hall meetings, 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.
Last updated: 3/4/2014 10:22:34 AM