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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's $7.7 billion budget was approved by the Los Angeles City Council. (Photo: Mayor Villaraigosa at celebration for Port of L.A. main channel deepening project).
A $7.7 billion spending plan for the city of Los Angeles was unanimously approved Thursday by the city council.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has five days to sign the budget, which keeps in place 5.5 percent raises for 60 percent of city workers. An expected $216 million deficit was closed in part because of pension reform and an increase in property, sales and hotel tax revenues.
"I am happy the city council has approved my proposed budget, which hands to the next administration a more financially secure city while restoring core city services," Villaraigosa said in a statement.
He went on to say:
I thank the council for preserving a 10,000 officer Los Angeles Police Department and funding our innovative and highly effective Gang Reduction and Youth Development programs. I’m also grateful they agreed to increase services that are critical to the quality of life and well-being of our residents, including sidewalk repair, tree trimming, meals for the elderly, and graffiti removal.
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L.A. Democrat Henry Waxman advising Democrats in "Gang of Eight" on healthcare for undocumented immigrants.
House Speaker John Boehner put pressure on the "Gang of Eight" to come up with an agreement on immigration reform Thursday, saying the House will not simply take up the bill emerging from the Senate. Health care appears to be the stumbling block.
The Affordable Care Act provides federal subsidies to lower-income Americans to help them buy insurance in health insurance exchanges.
Los Angeles democrat Henry Waxman, one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act, said House Republicans want to require undocumented immigrants on the path to citizenship to be insured, just like everyone else. But they also want to forbid spending federal dollars to help them pay for it.
"You can't require somebody to buy something they can't afford and then deny them the ability to get any help," said Waxman.
There is also the issue of emergency room care.
Typical voting booth and the Ink-a-Vote ballot marking machine used throughout Los Angeles County.
?Tuesday's Los Angeles city election drew 19.2 percent of the city's voters to the polls, according to unofficial results from the L.A. City Clerk's office.
But in some areas, voter turnout was much lower (you can see just how low on our interactive map). And while some blame voter apathy on candidates who were too similar in positions to spark much drama, others see it as a symptom of economic dysfunction.
More than 1,100 people are registered to vote at the True Ever-Faithful Baptist Church on 111th and Main Street in South Los Angeles. But on Election Day, only 117 cast ballots. That's a 10 percent turnout, one of the lowest rates in the city.
Oscar Barrett, 47, has lived here most of his life and says he's registered to vote. But he doesn't see the point of voting, even though he's standing right across the street from his polling place.
The mayor and Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti had breakfast, strolled the gardens, then addressed reporters in front of the official mayoral manse. Villaraigosa congratulated Garcetti on a well-run campaign.
"I couldn't be more excited and prouder to welcome my friend of 12 years. ... We've had a long friendship. A friendship with his father before that, and we couldn't be more excited to welcome him to Getty House and share a few words about transition," Villaraigosa said.
During their private discussion, the two men talked about the importance of staying grounded, Garcetti said.
"Mayor Villaraigosa gave me great practical advice about just the life, about making sure you stay in touch with this city and the ways to connect always to its people. To never let the bubble take over your life and to always be close to the street," Garcetti said.
Eric Garcetti thanks supporters at The Palladium in Hollywood, Calif. on May 21st, 2013.
Tuesday night, just after the polls closed, Fernando Guerra disclosed the initial results of an Election Day exit poll, which predicted a victory by Eric Garcetti over Wendy Greuel by 54 percent to 46 percent.
Guerra, who directs Loyola Marymount University's Center for the Study of Los Angeles, was spot on. His numbers exactly matched the final count delivered by the L.A. City Clerk's office at 3:15 Wednesday morning.
On Wednesday afternoon, the LMU center issued the details of the exit poll, and the results display just how much Garcetti dominated the race.
RELATED: Full details of LMU's exit poll
The best illustration might be to examine the few categories that Greuel won:
- She won the African-American vote by a whopping 69-31 percent, likely due to her connection to revered former Mayor Tom Bradley and endorsements from Magic Johnson and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
- Greuel won the San Fernando Valley vote, but only by a narrow 51-49 percent. Greuel grew up in the Valley and represented that area when she served on the City Council. But Garcetti has roots there too.
- And Greuel won among households with a resident who belongs to a public union. But her margin was .8 percent — actually a statistical tie with Garcetti. This was a surprise given the millions of dollars that public employee unions spent on Greuel's behalf.