Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, November 19, 2001


Page 10


Council Orders Study on Impact of State Budget Cuts on City Finances



By KIMBERLY EDDS, Staff Writer


The City Council will hear a report this week on how Gov. Gray Davis’ proposed budget cuts will impact the city’s finances under an emergency motion approved Friday.

The report, requested by Councilwoman Janice Hahn, will look at how Davis’ plan to cut $3 billion from the state budget affects local programs. Hahn insisted the report be presented to the council before the Thanksgiving holiday.

“These cuts affect housing programs, environmental programs, transportation and public safety and hold dire consequences for us,” she said. “Clearly we need to be ahead of the curve in assessing the impact of these cuts.”

While the majority of the cuts will come from education,  with $1.2 billion being cut over the next two fiscal years, several city programs will lose state funding as a result of the cuts, Hahn said, including: $5 million for the Los Angeles River parkway project, $20 million to support local trauma centers and the cost to construct the Los Angeles Crime Laboratory will be shifted to state-financed lease revenue bonds, a plan which is expected to save the state’s general fund $82 million.

Hahn has been pushing council members to tighten their own belts and budgets, calling for hiring freezes in all council districts in support of the city’s general hiring freeze.

Councilman Hal Bernson said the city needs to be aware of the potential impacts of the cuts since the state has been known to come to local governments to correct its own financial woes.

“We’re going to really have to take a look at our budget and prioritize,” Bernson said. “Some of the things we think are so important may not be so important.”

“Just like every household does when revenue is down, we’ve got to cut spending and live within our budget,” Bernson said.

Councilman Nate Holden said the city has no idea how bad things could really be for city finances if the proposed cuts really do go through as planned.

“If these budget cuts are real and they are going to adversely affect our budget for this fiscal year, we are in more trouble than you ever dreamed of,” Holden said.Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company