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County’s $7.36 billion budget highlights investments in mental health, homelessness



San Diego County’s $7.36 billion budget for the next fiscal year includes hundreds of millions of dollars to tackle behavioral health, homelessness and environmental issues.

County supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1, and it represents a bump of $200 million over a draft budget released last month.

“Today we are approving a budget that I believe is the greatest investment in some of the most pressing needs in our region’s history,” Chair Nathan Fletcher said.

The budget boosts spending by $126 million, or 1.5 percent, over the current year, and adds 1,000 new staff positions, county Chief Financial Officer Ebony Shelton said. That’s a reversal of proposals in the draft budget, which would have trimmed spending by 1.1 percent over last year.

“We have made the largest investment ever in behavioral health services in the history of our county,” Fletcher said in a statement. “Unprecedented investments on programs to help unsheltered San Diegans. Significant funding to upgrade the health care services and staffing in our County jails. Plus, we are investing more to fight climate change, address storm water issues and plant more trees countywide; keep our communities safe by funding public safety; protect neighborhoods from the dangers of wildfires; and build more affordable housing.”

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