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L.A. County budget shortfall at more that $500 million, layoffs possible


Los Angeles County Chief Executive William T Fujioka said Monday that he is grappling with a $510.5 million budget shortfall and may need to lay off about 100 workers to help close the gap, even with negotiations underway with labor leaders that could yield compromises.

“This will be the worst year,” Fujioka said at a news conference today, predicting that the economic downturn will continue to ease and the pressure on the county will be far less in coming years.

In addition to possible job cuts, Fujioka's proposal to close the budget gap includes shortened library hours, reduced overtime for sheriff’s employees and the elimination of more than 1,000 vacant positions across the county.

Fujioka also cautioned that the cuts might grow significantly worse in the coming weeks because of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed $1.5 billion cut to county funding. That situation remains fluid, however, and no state cuts are included in Fujioka’s plan so far.

Currently, his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year totals $22.721 billion, a decrease of $885 million from the current budget. The proposed budget is scheduled to be presented to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, allowing for public hearings to begin May 12.

Among proposed curtailments:

  • Sheriff:  $128 million in cuts, elimination of 214 budgeted positions by downsizing the Pitchess Detention Center, deletion of 300 vacant deputy positions, reduction in overtime budget.
  • Assessor: $7.9 million reduction and elimination of 22 positions, affecting appraisals, information technology projects and other services.
  • Public Health:  $7.9 million reduction and elimination of 81 positions
  • Public Social Services:  $7.4 million and elimination of 383 positions.
  • Public Library:  $4.8 million reduction and elimination of 9 positions, reducing service hours at selected libraries and elimination of the adult literacy program.
  • Public Defender:  $4.5 million reduction and elimination of 18 positions.
  • Children and Family Services: $4.4 million reduction in programmatic areas.
  • District Attorney:  $3.6 million reduction and elimination of 25 positions.

-- Garrett Therolf at the L.A. County Hall of Administration

Photo: L.A. County Jail. Times file

Comments () | Archives (33)

Check out how much money the LAPD and the los angeles city attorney threw away on a malicious prosecution-- while the city was going broke. l

Case 8CA10541 in the Criminal Courts building.

It is time the City declare bankrupt, reorganize, re-negotiate all Unions contract, and get everyone to re-apply for their jobs. It is time to clean house from the Mayor down to the workers.

Here we go! Even though I did NOT vote for the Governor I totally understand why the cuts are necessary. HE HAS NO MONEY PEOPLE!!! I am a social worker and it pisses me off that programs will be cut but honestly what can he do.. On another note yeah I work for DCFS and I am a great social worker. I see my peers and they are great too. How about the community and the board of supervisors stop blaming us for all the child deaths. We do not have a crystal ball, we don't know when parents, foster parents are lying to us.. If anyone could predict the future bad things would never happen. All I am saying is cut us some slacks and stop blaming DCFS for the shortcomings of all the bad parents out there in the community!!

Layoffs 'possible' ? Only in California, where were sunk beyond salvation in debt largely incurred through ruinously expensive public employees salaries/benefits and an ocean of welfare recipients, would we still be questioning the 'possibility' of layoffs. Every other state in the nation would have already done that by this time. But not in California. Nope.

Any private company facing a $500 million deficit would make lay-offs a reality, not a possibility.

Too buch unions. Too much perks. Too much non-sense. Too much hokey pokey.

And finally the net result is a 500 million piece of baloney.

Have a nice day.

By the way, did the Board of Supervisors (who are heavy on staff members) lay off or reduce staffers???? Of course not. There motto, "is do as I say not as I do"!!! What a void in leadership we have here.

Layoffs 'possible' ? You mean it isn't obvious that that should be done?? Only in California.

What makes the man think this will be the worst year? Look around. Things are not getting better in California and the jobs are still moving out of state.

These politicians and lawmakers should be held accountable for what they do and one way is to have a yearly election in which the people can vote them out according to their performance.Another thing is the people should have the right to vote on more issues .

we hear this story everyday, just do it
tred of hear this story about layoffs, and nothing is done

NOw about the issue of those big pensions that LA will have to pay its public servants.

They might as well declare Bankruptcy and have their affairs handled by a bankruptcy judge.

Everyone will have to take a pay cut.

Have a nice day.

"L.A. County budget shortfall at more that [sic] $500 million, layoffs possible"

"...at more THAT $500 million..."


Sorry, I realize that the story is about an extremely grave issue for LA county, but this was in the title of the story. C'mon, get it together...

great like LA is such as safe city now we are going to have less police!

I say job cuts are exactly where things need to start. Let us face the ugly facts, there are too many employess that do not produce. Yes, job loses are a horrible thing. Cant spend more than you make, simple math people. Nobody's job is secure, mine isnt and should yours?

Who cares???Los Angeles has millions of Illegal Aliens,Deport them all and save money NOW!!!! We need Arizona's new laws here in California ASAP!!!

I cannot understand the headline: "shortfall at more that $500 million"

These politicians and administrators, all publicly paid, need to feel a whole lot more of the pain they're giving everyone else! Someone (who knows how to make such things happen) needs to put out an initiative we can work on, for placement on the next possible ballot, to instantly cut ALL of their salaries to no more than $50,000 a year, once their budgets go out of balance. This would apply to every publicly paid person in that particular jurisdiciton. If that causes them difficulty in sending their kiddies to private school..or if the little woman has to cut back her spa trips..tough! How many of those laid off would be happy to "get by" on $50,000..and how many of those jobs could have been saved, had something like this been done! Consider the ridiculous salary of the president of the state university system..almost a million a year! The rationale..that it's to "compete" with other such positions! Baloney! This should be done on the local, county and state levels! Someone..please get the ball rolling and I'll be happy to lick envelopes or whatever!

Time to get the unions out of the government. Your taxes are paying for their inflated salaries, wages and benefits.
Why Government Unions Have Grown

In 2009, government employees came to constitute the majority of union members for two reasons. First, union membership rates fell in the private sector. Unionized companies do poorly in the marketplace and lose jobs relative to their nonunion competitors.[7] Toyota and Honda have gained jobs as General Motors and Chrysler have lost them. Thousands of repetitions of this dynamic caused private-sector union membership to fall from 20.1 percent to 7.6 percent between 1980 and 2008. In 2009, private-sector union membership fell further to 7.2 percent. Competition undermines unions.

Government employees, however, face no competition as the government never goes out of business. As a result, government employees organize at far higher rates. A full 37.4 percent of government employees belonged to unions in 2009, up 0.6 percentage points from 2008.[8]

Second, the private sector lost millions of jobs during the recession while government employment increased slightly. Union membership moved with the jobs. Private-sector unions lost 834,000 members in 2009 while public-sector unions actually gained 64,000 members.[9] Both of these factors combined to make government employees a majority of the union movement.

Government Employees Earn More

The labor movement has, thus far, been very successful in this goal. The average worker for a state or local government earns $39.83 an hour in wages and benefits compared to $27.49 an hour in the private sector.[13] While over 80 percent of state and local workers have pensions, just 50 percent of private-sector workers do.[14] These differences remain after controlling for education, skills, and demographics.[15] Taxpayers now pay for unionized government jobs paying notably more than those available in the private sector.

If we would stop paying for squaters living here off the countries money then maybe we would have enought to feed the starving americans and pay for our counties needs.

So if California's wonderful world of lawmakers cut everyone's paycheck and still continue to give the illegal aliens everything for free who pays that bill? Didn't Gov Swartzenegger state "The illegal aliens only cost the state of California $5 billion dollars a year" They're not the problem. I guess only those that file a W2 every year are the root cause of the budget problem. WOW! And I'm bad in math.

Maybe some of the MDs or DOs who have private practices should be per diem or per hour rather than a fulltime paid employee with benefits. OR maybe the fraud should stop now. KDMC did not learn its bad habits for LACUSC. It has been going on this way a long time.

If the mayor and his troops all take a pay cut of 15-20% and surrender the free health care, freeze all the overtime then the county budget will be balanced quickly and nobody get lay-off.

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