Environment & Science

DWP, acting GM Austin Beutner to release budget

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The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is supposed to issue its new budget today. KPCC’s Molly Peterson has more on what that means for the utility’s top priorities.

L.A. Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner took over as DWP’s interim general manager six weeks ago. Since then, he’s had his hand in the utility’s annual budget process.

Beutner reportedly rejected earlier budgets from Water and Power staff. He’s also vowed to increase accountability and transparency at the DWP.

L.A. City Council members will take particular interest in the utility’s budget plans. The council and top managers at the DWP have battled this year over whether and how to raise energy rates. During that fight, the DWP threatened to withhold a planned transfer of money to the city of L.A.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s latest city budget relies on the utility to transfer another $257 million in the coming year. The budget also will reflect spending priorities for renewable energy projects and “green jobs” the mayor’s promised. Beutner’s expected to present the budget for approval to Water and Power commissioners, the L.A. City Council, and neighborhood groups in the coming weeks.