Southern California breaking news and trends

LA City Council approves $7.2 billion budget (updated)

Kansas Sebastian/Flickr

The L.A. city budget includes increases in parking fines and the elimination of funds that allow Angelenos to remotely testify before the L.A. City Council.

A $7.2 billion budget that increases parking fines and eliminates the funds that allow Angelenos to remotely testify was unanimously approved today by the Los Angeles City Council.

Tickets for all parking fines will increase by $5, while fines related to handicap parking will increase $10. Those tickets are expected to generate an additional $2.4 million for the city. 

When Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa introduced the budget in April, he warned that 231 employees would be laid off. However, an unexpected influx of property taxes and funds found by the chief legislative analyst means those layoffs will be pushed back until at least Jan. 1, 2013. 

The balanced budget also eliminates a $238 million deficit.

“The real budget solution that the city faces is to get businesses back in the city and to get people back to work and when those things happen, we’ll have a much easier time delivering services to our constituents,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. 

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Maven's Morning Coffee: mayoral quiz, testimony in DA's race

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Jackie Lacey's campaign website

The Los Angeles Times reports that Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey gave conflicting testimony at two employee relations hearings due to low blood sugar.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Monday, May 21, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

A candidate running for district attorney gave conflicting testimony at two employee relations hearings in 2009 and 2010, and blamed her mistakes on low blood sugar, according to the Los Angeles Times. Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey had testified that current D.A. Steve Cooley was anti-union.

The chief of staff to Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, Ana Cubas, has filed papers to run for the council's Ninth District, reports the Los Angeles Times. That seat is currently held by Councilwoman Jan Perry.

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LA City Council prepares for vote on $7.2 billion budget

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Chris Hall/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

The Los Angeles City Council is expected to approve the city's $7.2 billion budget on Monday.

Angelenos had their final opportunity to weigh in on the city’s $7.2 billion budget today as the Los Angeles City Council prepares for a final vote on the spending plan.

Council members will meet at City Hall on Monday to discuss and vote on any possible changes to a plan that avoids 209 layoffs -- at least until January. Since Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released his budget April 20, members of the Budget and Finance Committee have spent more than 40 hours combing through the proposal.

“Is this a good budget? In a perfect world, of course this is not a good budget. Of course we want to do more for the programs that we care about,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, chair of the committee.

“Given the limitations that we’re facing, given the restrictions that are before us, because of the work that we’ve done today, this is, I believe, a balanced budget that attempts to address the structural deficiencies that we have in our budget.” 

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Audit: LAFD taking longer to respond to medical emergencies

LAFD

Jondoeforty1/Flickr

In some parts of the city, it takes firefighters 20 seconds longer to get to medical emergencies than it did three years ago, according to an audit released today.

Budget cuts have increased the response times of firefighters and paramedics in parts of Los Angeles by as much as 20 seconds, according to an audit released today by the city controller.

The report from Controller Wendy Greuel is based on data collected by the Los Angeles Fire Department from Jan. 1, 2007 to March 26 of this year. However, earlier this week the man charged with investigating the LAFD’s response times reported he had no confidence in the data.

The audit found that the average response time to emergency medical calls increased from 4 minutes and 45 seconds in 2009 to 4 minutes and 57 seconds in 2012. In the San Fernando Valley, the average response time increased by 20 seconds. In the East Los Angeles, San Pedro and metro areas, it is taking an average of 18 seconds longer to get to life-threatening calls.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: LAFD response times, more parking enforcement officers

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Frank Stoltze/KPCC

A Los Angeles Times review of 911 dispatches found there is too much time between when a call is answered and when emergency units are sent to the scene.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Friday, May 18, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

The Los Angeles Times has found the Los Angeles Fire Department takes longer than the national standard to dispatch firefighters to emergencies. Last year, it took an average of 1 minute and 45 seconds from the time a 911 call was answered to the time an emergency unit was sent to the scene. First responders should be notified within one minute of the call at least 90 percent of the time, according to the Times.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation could have 50 additional part-time officers next year to issue parking tickets, according to the Daily News. That's in addition to a plan to increase all parking fines by at least $5, starting July 1.

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