County Budget: A Step in the Right Direction
On June 25, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 budget. It is a $6.24 billion budget that increases investment in mental health, public health and child welfare. It has an additional $29.5 million, from the May County Administrative Officer’s budget proposal, mostly made up of Health and Human Services investment.
This was a very different budget than previous years and it shows that your hard work as part of the Invest in San Diego Families coalition has an impact on the Board of Supervisors. Without the more than 600 people who attended the Evening Budget Hearing – and more than 100 who testified – this wouldn’t have happened.
For a generation, San Diego County has under-invested in staffing and services and San Diegans have suffered. The Board took a step in the right direction by approving a budget that includes more investment in critical areas including child welfare, behavioral health, public health and self-sufficiency services. But it is still not enough. We will keep fighting to make sure that the Board invests in a San Diego that works for everyone.
Some highlights in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 budget
- 143.5 Behavioral Health Services positions -177 long-term beds and a total behavioral health budget of $708 million, a $54.7 increase from last year
- 125 Child Welfare Services positions
- 29 Aging and Independence Services positions
- 27.5 Public Health Nurses and oversight positions, and $1 million added to support services
- 15 self-sufficiency outreach positions to enroll people in vital County services
- 11 Housing and Community Development Services positions – $25 million added to Innovative Housing Trust Fund
- 9 additional Air Pollution Control District positions and $19 million in funds for Community Air Protection Program for Portside Environmental Justice Communities
- 6 homeless services positions
- 5 administrative and facility support service positions for Health and Human Services
- 4 veteran services positions
- 3 new staff to support the Climate Action Plan implementation
- An additional attorney and 4 support staff for the Fresh Start Program. This program puts ex-offenders directly in touch with a Public Defender who is working to determine if they are eligible to have their criminal record cleared
- An Environmental Grant Writer
- A Certified Nutritionist
- An additional Refugee Health Coordinator
- $300,000 to expand the San Diego Nights Program to 10 more locations
- $200,000 to the Office of Public Defender to provide specialized immigration counsel to those in legal proceedings