State budget cuts threaten public safety and housing while teachers’ unions keep asking for more money

San Jose, CA will lose crucial funding for interim housing units  as Los Angeles Council members push to freeze cops’ salaries. Having taken a break from handing out inflationary stimulus checks, the state now wants to explain the concept of lean government to cities and stakeholders. But teachers’ unions won’t learn the lesson—instead they’re asking for $23 billion in additional education spending. Wayne Avrashow of California Globe reports.

If the deficit is closer to the Analyst Office’s projections or any economic slowdown occurs, cities and county governments will bear the brunt. Newsom’s budget proposal, which will be modified by the legislature, includes delays to programs in behavioral health, reductions in parks and open spaces, libraries, childcare, education, and transportation, all of which will directly impact local government.

There are “reversions,” or cuts, of approximately $1 billion in various housing programs this year and $1.7 billion over the following years. Political hypocrisy should not shock anyone. We are undoubtedly in a housing crisis, and the State has mandated a specific number of affordable housing units for each city. Yet the “reversions” in housing aid result in a demand by the State of each city but pulls back needed financial assistance. 

Los Angeles is confronting what the Los Angeles Times termed a “budget mess.” The city of nearly four million will have to freeze hiring, cut services, and raise fees. San Francisco is confronting a $245 million shortfall this year and a $555 million deficit next year. Mayor London Breed’s budget director stated, “We’re in a tough spot.” 

Los Angeles has three Council members who voted against raising salaries for the Los Angeles Police Department. Anything is possible with those self-described “super progressives.” Yet budgets for police, fire, and emergency medical technicians should not be reduced. Public safety is the number one job for municipal governments.

Despite California’s budget woes, special interests continue to push for more funding. Newsom’s proposed budget allocates $22,850 per student, yet California Now is pressing for an additional $23 billion annually in education spending. Look for the potent teacher’s union to flex its political muscles.

Read the whole thing here.

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