More need help while LA County has less to give

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The sagging economy means ever more people are lining up for social services. At the same time Los Angeles County has less money to pay for them. KPCC’s Shirley Jahad says county supervisors heard from constituents today about the LA County budget.

Just as in other parts of the country, the demand for social services in LA County is way up while revenues are way down.

After several members of her union testified to the supervisors, Elizabeth Brennan with the Service Employees International Union said county workers have a big job to do …

Elizabeth Brennan: “One in five LA County residents is on public assistance. That’s more than two million people. It’s a huge increase. And so where we’re seeing that is talking with social service workers. There’s a stereotype of people who come to the welfare office and what they’re telling me is just throw that out the window."

The proposed LA County budget is nearly $23 billion. That’s close to $400 million less than last year. Still, the county’s facing a shortfall. Officials are eliminating nearly 1,700 jobs by not filling vacancies. They’re also considering additional cuts to county health care services. The supervisors expect to approve the budget next month.