Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Budget committee to host hearing on LA's fiscal challenges

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The Los Angeles City Council’s budget committee will host a public hearing on the city’s financial challenges Monday evening as a prelude to the mayor’s budget for the next fiscal year.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana and representatives from the police and fire departments will be on hand to answer questions. Unlike in previous years when the Budget and Finance Committee met throughout the city, this will be the only public hearing prior to the release of the budget. 

The city had projected a $210 million deficit for next year, though that figure might now be closer to $165 million due to better-than-expected returns on pension investments.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa must release his budget by April 20. Though he will set the spending priorities, the next mayor – who will be sworn in on the same day the fiscal year starts, July 1 – will implement the approved budget.

One of the mayoral candidates, Eric Garcetti, will have a hand in the budget, though that might not be an advantage. Labor groups have already criticized Garcetti for votes he’s made since 2009 that resulted in early retirements and changes to employees’ pension plans.

As the controller, Garcetti's opponent Wendy Greuel will have no involvement in approving the city budget.

The hearing will start at 6 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.  It will also stream live on the city’s website.

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