San Francisco Mayor facing challenges over residents and officials are protesting spending cuts to housing, child care, and other areas with a record-high city and county budget.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed Proposes His Budget For The Next Two Fiscal Years
San Francisco Mayor Breed has announced his proposed budget for the next two fiscal years worth $14.6 billion, sparking pushback from city operating officials whose benefits will be affected and vulnerable residents who may be impacted by the cuts.
Washington Examiner reported that the Rent Arbitration Board’s budget is projected to drop to less than $15 million for the upcoming fiscal year after glimpsing an increase over the prior years. The budget includes a plan to lower commercial rent tax, a decision approved by San Francisco’s voters in 2018 to finance child care and early education. The move aims to force businesses to occupy office spaces.
San Francisco Chronicle mentioned that the Budget Justice Coalition made up of advocates of residents, rallied at city hall on Monday, calling on Breed to prioritize social services and attacking the budget for failing to invest in affordable housing.
The Department of Early Childhood is also facing a significant budget decline, expected to lose around $50 million, which is 8% lower than the current operating costs.
Budget Justice Coalition Protested That San Francisco Mayor Should Prioritize Working Families
The Budget Justice Coalition protested at city hall last Thursday, urging San Francisco Mayor to prioritize working families. Moreover, Breed has defended the cuts, claiming that early education and childcare program are still developing and that there will be no reductions due to a large surplus of budgets from commercial rent tax funds in past years.
The Ethics Commission is slated to decrease by 5 percent, resulting in a 40 percent cut to staff over two years.
In a statement following the budget release, Ethics Commission Chairwoman Yvonne Lee said the cuts are “unusually severe” in comparison to the rest of the plan and would have a “drastic impact” on the city agency and those who operate the commission.
Despite cuts to multiple areas, the fiscal plan also includes substantial increases from last year for several divisions, including a 9 percent increase to the police department and an 8 percent increase to the Department of Public Health.