The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted yesterday, Sept. 10, to approve the Revised Recommended Budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
The Revised Recommended General Fund budget provided substantial additional funding to address the impact of COVID-19 on the community; avoided significant reductions in critical County programs and made new General Fund supported investments in some new programs to address the most critical needs.
The budget also accounted for the County’s $170 million revenue loss with one-time State and federal funding, which is likely unsustainable into future fiscal years.
“It is important to continue to provide the critical health, social, public safety and other services to the people of Sacramento County, and in spite of the significant economic impact of COVID-19, the Revised Recommended Budget did exactly that,” said County Executive Nav Gill.
The $3.08 billion General Fund expenditures increased by $204.6 million. Departments with the largest expenditure increases included Health Services with a $140.3 million (29%) increase; Sheriff with a $38.2 million (6.9%) increase; Human Assistance with a $26.4 million (7.8%) increase; Child, Family and Adult Services with an $11.8 million (5.5%) increase; and Probation with an $8.6 million (5.4%) increase.
During budget deliberations, the Board added a number of restorations to the budget totaling $1,886,446 in appropriations, which included:
- $957,446 for body-worn cameras for probation officers
- $300,000 for the Foster Care Recruitment and Retention Program in Child, Family and Adult Services
- $203,000 for the Cares Plus Program in Child, Family and Adult Services’ Public Guardian Division
- $126,000 to retain two staff positions that would have been eliminated in the Women, Infants and Children Program
- $300,000 to Child, Family and Adult Services to use as part of an effort to develop a Senior Safe House
The Board also directed that staff work to strengthen and expand the Mobile Crisis Support Team, a collaboration between Behavioral Health and law enforcement to respond together to emergency calls for people experiencing mental health crises. Staff will return to the Board within 45 days with a status report on this effort.
“Concerned about elevating law enforcement accountability and transparency, the Board of Supervisors not only approved body cameras for sheriff deputies and park rangers, but we are one of the first in California to also fund the deployment of body cameras for our probation officers” said board chairman and first district supervisor Phil Serna, who made the proposal in consultation with the Chief of Probation, Lee Seale. “Other innovative and restorative budget actions the board took included adding funds for WIC (Woman Infant & Children) lactation services, preserving important foster care programing for some of our most vulnerable youth, buttressing mental health crisis services, and investing in a senior safe house for Sacramento County’s elderly residents.”
The Revised General Fund budget addressed the County’s continued response to COVID-19 with $89.1 million in expenditures:
- Health Services: $71.1 million (testing, contact tracing, business navigators, food and housing assistance, Public Health surge capacity)
- Child, Family and Adult Services: $6.9 million (Dine at Home Sacramento program for home-bound seniors)
- Human Assistance: $11.1 million (COVID-19 Homeless Response Plan, Project Roomkey)
Additional growth requests included $2.1 million for body-worn cameras for Sheriff’s deputies and park rangers; $9.4 million for the Mays Consent Decree, in which the County agreed to make significant investments in the jails to resolve the lawsuit concerning conditions of confinement; and $2.6 million for mental health programs.
The Board is scheduled to formally adopt the Budget on Sept. 22.