Around 200 Riverside County workers may lose jobs to budget gap

www.supjeffstone.org

Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone.

Nearly 200 Riverside County workers could be out of a job come May if county leaders move forward with a plan aimed at closing an $80 million budget gap.

During a budget workshop, the county’s chief financial officer Ed Corser lay out the numbers.

"We're $30 million short on the revenue we anticipated and we added $50 million of one-time money in the current year budget," Corser explained, before adding, "That’s all gotta be taken care of.”

Corser says the local economy is slowly rebounding and jobs are coming back. Meanwhile, income from sales tax is up but property tax revenue is still in the tank.

"We got some one-time money but I tell ya, we’re scratching for it," said Corser. "Yeah, we’re gonna be making future budget cuts. By the time you get ready to approve a budget in June for 2012-2013, we’re going to have a list of cuts for them to make in 2013-2014. We got no choice because we have a horizon that tells us costs are going to be increasing”

The county’s chief executive says the government will have to lay off at least 196 employees if it hopes to close its budget deficit. Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone says even more may have to go if the county wants to prevent additional cuts to public services.

"Believe me, I’d like to keep every employee that we have," said Stone. "But employees represent the biggest cost to this county and we have got to trim and add to our reserves. I think the number of layoffs in the CEO’s report pale in comparison to what I think may be needed."

At their next public hearing, county officials will talk about the possible effects of additional layoffs and cuts to public safety and social services.

That public hearing is scheduled for 8:30 Thursday morning.

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