City Council set to approve 2020 budget on Tuesday

The Long Beach City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve a $2.8 billion budget for the fiscal year 2020 that maintains recent boosts to pubic safety and other services.

The city must adopt its budget by Sept. 15 for the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Tuesday’s decision comes following several weeks of budget hearings that were open to public comment.

The budget includes the taxpayer-funded $554 million general fund, which pays for many city services.

This year’s proposed highlights include:

  • Maintained funding for 121 public safety positions and a $2.2 million boost for the police department’s Neighborhood Safe Streets initiative. The public safety funding comes from the Measure A sales tax, which was approved by voters in 2016. The budget also fully funds the police department’s body-worn camera program.
  • A full-time position and an additional $80,000 in one-time funds to support the city’s Language Access Program—a service that was requested in the “People’s Budget Proposal.” 
  • $100,000 in one-time funds to support donation coordination for Animal Care Services.
  • $600,000 in one-time funds to support an accurate 2020 census count, which will be used to redraw district boundaries.

While this coming budget is balanced, officials are projecting significant shortfalls between $5 million and $12 million over the next two years due to rising costs and pension obligations.

Mayor Robert Garcia in his own proposals has recommended funding for additional programs including $680,000 for a four-person Clean Team to enhance city cleanup efforts.  

The council meeting kicks off at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at 411 W. Ocean Blvd.

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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].
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