The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on June 10 to approve the $6.5 billion recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22.
“We are fortunate that in spite of the pandemic, the County is in relatively good fiscal shape for the upcoming fiscal year,” said Board Chair Sue Frost, District 4 Supervisor. “This budget avoided significant reductions in programs and included new investments in a number of important areas.”
The $6.5 billion budget consists of $2.437 billion in Enterprise and Special Revenue Fund expenditures (funded through utility rates, fees and other dedicated revenue), $3.147 billion in General Fund, and $947 million in Restricted Funds (funded with federal, State revenue dedicated for a particular purpose).
“We have been faced with many profound challenges both locally and nationally this past year,” said Interim County Executive Ann Edwards. “The County was able to weather fiscal challenges last year and as we look forward to the next fiscal year, I am excited to implement initiatives, plans and processes to accomplish real change and advancement in the County.
“In this next fiscal year, we will sharpen the County’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion across County departments and in the community. Additionally, we will have a more robust community engagement element to our budget processes for FY 2022-23.”
In addition to maintaining existing services, the budget reflects a commitment to:
- Address equity and inclusion issues;
- Address the needs of homelessness on our community;
- Provide an alternative to police response to people experiencing mental illness;
- Address critical needs for capital improvements in the Parks system and at the Mather Community Campus; and
- Improve the condition of County roads.
The budget recognized new areas of growth, including annual commitments of:
- $12 million to fund a non-law enforcement Alternative Emergency Response to people experiencing mental health issues in the unincorporated County and all cities except for the City of Sacramento.
- $5.9 million to fund a Homeless Encampment Initiative designed to get people without housing in the unincorporated County off the streets and into temporary and eventually permanent housing.
- $5 million to fund the Probation Department’s Monitored Pre-trial Release Program.
- $6.8 million to fund continued efforts to meet the County’s obligations under the Mays Consent decree regarding conditions of confinement in the County’s jails.
- $6.4 million in grant funding for the epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) Enhancing Detection Expansion Program in Public Health that supports epidemiology and laboratory services for COVID-19 and to prepare and address other emerging infectious diseases.
- $2.5 million to fund an additional Foster Care Unit, two additional Emergency Response Units and two additional Public Health Nurses in Child Protection Services, which will reduce caseloads per social worker.
- $2.2 million for increased processing costs related to organic solid waste.
- $1.2 million to fund the Public Defender’s Pre-Trial Release and Expungement programs, which assists offenders who have served their term expunge their records in order to get housing and jobs.
One-time growth included:
- Transfer of $22.5 million from the General Fund and the Roads Fund to spend on County road pavement rehabilitation projects where the road is on the verge of needing much more costly full reconstruction.
- $4.4 million to cover the cost of the special gubernatorial recall election that is likely to occur in FY2021-22.
- Transfer of $4.4 million from the General Fund to the Parks Construction Fund to begin addressing the $72 million backlog in Regional Parks capital needs.
- Transfer of $1 million from the General Fund to the Capital Construction Fund to start addressing the $11 million backlog in Mather Community Campus capital needs. If resources are available, the plan is to transfer an additional $4 million in the September Final Budget.
The recommended budget included approximately $5.3 million in program expenditure reductions. The reductions were primarily categorical reductions, meaning the reductions are due to a reduction in State or federal revenue. There are also non-categorical reductions, which are reductions that departments have indicated that the reduction will improve efficiency or not have a negative impact on services provided by the department. The departments with the largest reductions include:
- Probation, with a $4.4 million reduction due to completion of the Monitored Pre-trail Release Pilot Program, which had been funded for two years with State grant and Realignment revenue. However, funding for this program, which is no longer a pilot, is restored by a recommended growth request funded by $3 million in County costs and $2 million in remaining State grant funds.
- Sheriff, with a $428,000 reduction in expenditures due to the end of the Department of Justice Tobacco Grant funding. This will eliminate the Tobacco Abatement Team, which worked to mitigate juvenile tobacco use through education and proactive enforcement.
The numbers on the Recommended Budget will change between now and September, when the County receives new information, including the impact of the State Budget and updated revenue totals. The Final Budget will come back to the Board of Supervisors in September for review and adoption.
By the Numbers:
- $6.5 B: Total Budget
- $3.1 B: General Fund
- $2.4 B: Enterprise and Special Revenue
- $947 M: Restricted Funds
- 12,760: Number of Employees