San Diego

Board of Supervisors Approves County's 2019-2020 Budget

County officials say the aim of the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget is to focus on the most vulnerable population

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a $6.21 billion budget proposal that includes a large investment into the region's mental health services. 

County officials said the aim of the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget is to focus on the most vulnerable population of San Diegans with more than a third of the county's budget, $2.26 billion, going towards Health and Human Services programs. 

The budget faced a two-part approval process. The county approved the first year of the budget on Tuesday and will consider approving a plan for the second year. 

Here's a breakdown of the budget: 

Health and Human Services: $2.26B 

The county wants to create a budget of more than $705 million dedicated to helping people and families struggling with substance abuse or experiencing homelessness. That's a $50.3 million increase over last year. 

The funding would allow for nearly 340 staff member positions to be added -- 270 to the Health and Human Services team -- including social workers, mental health clinicians and housing specialists.

Dozens of Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) officers would be added to aid with mental illness cases. 

Under this plan, San Diegans will continue to get access to Drug Medi-Cal systems and treatment for substance abuse, a program that is growing rapidly.

The county proposed doubling the housing trust fund to $50 million, which would allow for about 1,800 more affordable housing units for homeless families, veterans and low-income adults. A total of $12.4 million will be added for affordable housing projects. 

Land Use and Environment: $650M 

The county has a goal to reach 90 percent renewable energy by 2030 and is exploring a community choice energy plan to aid in the effort. 

The budget includes partial funding for a five-year renovation project for the County Administration Center along the waterfront. In total, the budget allocates $103 million for capital projects, including parks, trails and fire stations. 

The county plans to add 500 acres of preserved open space and plant 3,500 trees on public land. 

A large chunk of this budget, $45.6 million, will go toward fire and emergency services. Another $36.8 million will go towards preventing pollution from reaching the ocean through storm drains, according to the county. 

Public Safety: $2.04B

Salary and benefit increases make up the majority of this year's public safety budget increase of $112.7 million. The county said higher labor costs and retirement contributions, offset by a reduction in the amount of staff years account for the increase. 

The budget would eliminate nearly 25 public safety positions. The county said the decrease would align with current workload and reduced caseload. 

Finance and General Government: $1.26B

An increase of $93.3 million to this budget reflects an increase in salary and benefit costs, according to the county. Seventeen positions will be added to the department to accommodate an increase in staff in other departments. 

For a breakdown on this year's budget proposal, visit here, and for the budget proposal in full, visit here

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