Mayor Karen Bass (File photo)

Amid financial concerns due to lower-than-planned revenues and unexpected spending needs, Mayor Karen Bass on Monday, April 22, released a proposed $12.8 billion city budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year — a decrease from this fiscal year’s $242 million spending plan.

Significantly, the proposal — described by Bass a “reset” — includes $65 million in cuts to her signature Inside Safe program; an increase of more than $138 million for the Los Angeles Police Department; and a decrease of about $23 million for the L.A. Fire Department.

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The proposal now goes to the City Council for revisions. The fiscal year begins July 1.

“We’re here today to lay out a path forward for Los Angeles,” Bass said during a news conference at City Hall. “As I said during the State of the City (speech) a week ago, the state of Los Angeles is stronger because of the work we are doing to break the status quo.”

Bass stressed that her proposed budget will continue the city’s work in addressing challenges such homelessness, public safety and meeting climate goals.

“This budget continues our momentum toward change by prioritizing core city services, but using this as an opportunity as a reset, so that our budgets moving forward are more honest, transparent and more focused,” she said.

On the issue of homelessness, the proposed budget would allocate $185 million to Bass’ cornerstone program, Inside Safe, a decrease of $65 million from this fiscal year.

Of this funding, about $70 million would be used to pay for motel rooms and other interim housing, while another $60 million would cover social- services at these sites, including health care, meals, case management, housing navigation and substance-use programs. About $28 million would be allocated for permanent housing and time-limited subsidies, and $24 million for housing acquisition.

Bass also proposed $2 million to expand street medicine teams and continue providing medical visits to people experiencing homelessness. Her office noted that more than 6,000 medical exams were conducted by these street teams this fiscal year.

Another $3 million would support the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise program, known as LA Rise, which provides subsidized job opportunities for unhoused people. An additional $4.1 million would be spent on mobile hygiene centers. About $17 million would be spent on FamilySource Centers, which help families at-risk of falling into homelessness.

Affordable-housing efforts would receive $4.4 million from state grants, with plans to expedite processes for mixed-income residential projects with on-site affordable units. City officials are looking to expand homelessness prevention programs by leveraging more Measure ULA dollars from $150 million to more than $400 million. Passed by LA voters in 2022, Measure ULA, known as the “Mansion Tax,” is a special tax on property sales exceeding $5 million.

With Bass stressing the need to recruit sworn officers to the LAPD’s depleted ranks, the police department would receive an increase of $138,168,080 — to $1,993,846,820 — from the city’s general fund. Combined with federal, state and other funding sources, the overall LAPD budget is about $3.3 billion.

The goal, Bass has repeatedly said, is increasing the number of officers to 9,084, though city leaders have said they want to hire 9,500 officers by 2028 or earlier.

In 2023, the city approved contracts with the unions representing LAPD’s low- and high-ranking officers that are expected to cost more than $1 billion through 2027.

The fire department, meanwhile, would see a decrease of $22,909,285 in the proposed budget — $814,281,952.

However, the proposal would increase funding for the fire department to support the Emergency Appointment Paramedic Program, with city officials noting the LAFD responds to more calls for service related to medical emergencies than other categories.

In addition, another $2.5 million would bring new equipment and technology updates for LAFD, prompted by the aftermath fire beneath the Santa Monica (10) Freeway that forced a temporary close of the road.

The proposed budget also invests $50 million in alternative response programs, such as the Crisis and Incident Response through Community-Led Engagement, Summer Night Lights program, and the Office of Community Safety.

(The information below is from the Office of Mayor Karen Bass)

Los Angeles business leaders applauded Mayor Bass following the release of her proposed FY 24 – 25 budget:

George Pla, Founder and CEO, Cordoba Corporation 
“I applaud the Mayor’s courageous leadership in unveiling a well-balanced budget that propels Los Angeles forward. By allocating resources to public safety and prioritizing social services and housing, the city is poised for progress. I look forward to supporting the Mayor’s request for the private sector to help the City move forward.”

Greg Dulan, Owner, Dulan’s Restaurant

“The Mayor has shown uncommon effort to support small businesses. During her time in office, she has personally supported my business and offered me words of encouragement and uplift. Her leadership inspires me.”

Maria S. Salinas, President and CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

“Mayor Bass’ budget proposal is thoughtful and balanced given the economic uncertainty and it prioritizes the mayor’s goals to ensure that city government is doing better for Angelenos. This budget continues the response to homelessness, increases public safety and crime prevention efforts, and creates opportunity for Los Angeles’ small businesses to not only start but grow, it also supports our restaurants with a permanent Al Fresco dining program. We commend Mayor Bass for investing taxpayer dollars in a prudent and responsible manner in this budget.”

Young Kim, Owner, Koreatown Plaza 

“Today’s budget announcement reaffirmed Mayor Bass’s unwavering commitment to bolstering small businesses. As both a business owner and community leader, we extend our gratitude to Mayor Bass for her proactive efforts in enhancing accessibility to LA businesses.”

JC Lacey, President, Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce 

“Mayor Karen Bass, as the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce celebrates our 91st Anniversary, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering commitment to supporting small businesses in Los Ángeles. Your strategic budget decisions ensure resilience and success of our small business community amidst ongoing economic recovery from COVID-19 and upcoming opportunities in Los Ángeles over the next few years. Your visionary leadership shines brightly, guiding us towards a prosperous future. Thank you for your dedication and steadfast support.”

Carlos Ortez, Owner, Un Solo Sol

“This is the time, Angelinos, to overcome our economic crisis as an enormous diverse community by showing the best of all of us to revitalize our small businesses throughout our beautiful city. Thank you, Mayor Bass for your work towards a safe Los Angeles where small businesses can thrive.”

Gene Hale, Chair, GLAAACC

“The Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to growing economic opportunity, talent, and employment in the Los Angeles area and we thank Mayor Bass for her work and dedication to improving safety across the city and paying workers the fair wages they deserve.”