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City Council

The People's Business: June 5, 2020: The Final Budget Discussion

On Monday, starting at 11 a.m., the City Council is scheduled to hold its final public meeting on the City budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 and make difficult decisions on what services to fund and what to cut.

For details on any item discussed here, click the agenda, then click on the item. Over on the right side of the page, you'll see a staff report and links to other bits of supporting material.

City Council -- Monday, June 8

Monday's agenda contains three items. One is a budget monitoring report on the third quarter of the current fiscal year. This report, which is done annually, gives Council members a rundown of how the City's actual revenues and expenditures from July 1, 2019, through March 31, 2020, compare with projections made when the budget was passed last June. This is the first mid-year monitoring report that reveals the amount of revenue lost due to COVID-19. The Council is asked to make a series of adjustments, proposed by the Department of Finance, to the current fiscal year budget. 

The second item is the proposed annual plan for the fiscal year 2021 Affordable Housing Fund. This fund, administered by the San Diego Housing Commission, helps generate housing options for low-income residents and is fueled mainly by the Inclusionary Housing Fund, which is funded from fees charged to residential development, and the Housing Trust Fund, which is funded from fees charged to commercial development. Also funneled into the fund are a few funding sources that have been discontinued but still produce revenue in the form of loan repayments and interest.

The Council will be asked to approve the roughly $67.8-million plan for the coming fiscal year. As proposed, it would help create an estimated 369 new rental units for very low-income households; assist 45 low- to median-income first-time homebuyers; add 138 transitional housing beds or very low-income, formerly homeless individuals and families and 156 interim housing beds for extremely low- to low-income households; assist 100 households through rapid rehousing; house 850 households through the Landlord Engagement Program; and move 200 households out of homelessness through the Prevention and Diversion Program.

And then there's the main event -- consideration of the fiscal year 2021 City budget.

The Council has been presented with a proposed budget and a revised budget. They have examined each department's budget and listened to hours and Road sign: Tough Decisions Aheadhours' worth of public testimony. They have also submitted memos detailing their budget priorities, which are compiled in a report released by the Independent Budget Analyst (IBA) on Wednesday. The IBA's office used that information to inform its recommended budget modifications, which, in turn, will inform the Council's discussion on Monday.

The Council must adopt a budget by June 15. Once it does, the Mayor has the authority to veto any specific line items in it. Then the Council may choose to override any mayoral vetoes. The budget must be finalized by June 30.

If you watched the Council meeting this past Tuesday (archived in two videos because it lasted more than 11 hours), you saw that there was an extraordinary level of public interest in this year's budget. On Tuesday, the budget was not on the agenda, so members of the public were asked to speak during the time for non-agenda public comment. 

On Monday, the budget IS on the agenda, so the time to speak will be when the City Clerk announces agenda item No. 603.

Sorry, due to COVID-19, only City staff and credentialed members of the press may attend the meeting in person. However, anyone can participate and make comments by dialing 619-541-6310 and entering the access code 877861 followed by # when the item you're interested in comes up (full call-in instructions). Watch the meeting on cable TV channel 24 or AT&T channel 99, or stream it online.

Any bets on how long this one will go? We at San Diego City Council Comms will have our snacks ready.

Coming next: Posts on the regular Council meeting of June 9 and the Rules Committee meeting of June 10.

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