The Board of Supervisors this week approved a $28.7 billion budget to fund 2016-17 services ranging from housing the homeless and protecting vulnerable children to building new jails and enforcing a new minimum wage ordinance.
Higher property and sales taxes have put the county in a position to hire more social workers to reduce Department of Children and Family Services caseloads, and more coroner’s personnel to address backlogs in that office.
Amendments to the budget included an increase in spending on the Parks After Dark program, aimed at keeping kids off the streets and out of gangs. More money also will be available for residents who might be able to reduce felony drug convictions to misdemeanors under Proposition 47.
Supervisor Hilda Solis applauded a plan to add more positions to the Sheriff’s Department, beefing up patrols in unincorporated areas of the county.
Solis, who represents the First District, also introduced a motion to formally establish environmental monitoring as one of the county’s five highest priorities, in the wake of the Aliso Canyon gas leak in Porter Ranch, contamination wrought by the Exide and Quemetco battery recycling plants, and the metals recycling facility that burned to the ground in Maywood. The motion passed unanimously.