Supervisor Fletcher Reacts to County’s Draft Budget
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher released the following statement following the release of the Chief Administrative Officer’s recommended 2019-20 County of San Diego Budget.
“After an initial review, I am encouraged by the investments being made in affordable housing, behavioral health and child welfare, but there is work to be done to ensure this budget meets the needs of our communities.” said Supervisor Fletcher. “In the months ahead, I will work with staff and the community to ensure the County’s budget priorities reflect the needs of our constituents.”
The preliminary $6.21 billion budget reflects a $381.9 million reduction for one-time capital projects, when compared to last year’s budget, but there have been increases in programmatic and staffing funds for behavioral health, child welfare and other services that impact the lives of County constituents.
Budget highlights in some of Supervisor Fletcher’s priority areas include:
● Health and Human Services: An increase of $144.6 million to assist the most vulnerable populations including child and family strengthening, affordable housing/homelessness, behavioral health and protecting public health.
● Behavioral Health Services: 123.5 new Behavioral Health Services positions; $25.3 million to enhance mental health outpatient services, rehabilitation services and $12.5 million to increase long-term service care services, including 177 beds in various facilities, including at San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital, residential board and cares and skilled nursing facilities.
● Child Welfare Services: 65 new Child Welfare Services positions - most are case carrying protective social workers and there will also be enhanced social worker training to support improved practices to achieve positive outcomes for youth and families and reduce violence. $6 million is being set-aside to allow for additional investments to address recommendations of the Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board.
● Aging & Independence Services: 29 position have been added to Aging & Independence Services, including 10 new positions to expand the successful Alzheimer’s Response Team program to different areas of the County. 1 certified nutritionist to oversee meals programs to seniors. These additions will help to strengthen the local food system and support the availability of healthy foods, nutrition education, and nutrition assistance for those who need it.
Community Budget Forums in District 4
In May, Supervisor Fletcher and experts from the County are going to spend time helping people understand the budget and get additional community input.
On May 18 the Supervisor will host a Youth Budget Forum at Laborers International Union Hall, 4161 Home Ave. San Diego, CA 92105 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. On May 21, 2019 he will host his second Community Budget Forum at Johnson Elementary School, 1355 Kelton Road San Diego, CA 92114 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The first Community Budget Forum held in March was to explain the County’s budget process.
Evening Budget Hearing
Earlier this year, Supervisor Fletcher introduced and received support from his colleagues for restoring an evening budget hearing. It will be held June 13, 2019 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101.