Karen Bass

Mayor Karen Bass Unveils Nearly $13 Billion Spending Plan for LA

The budget proposes an allocation of $1.3 billion for the city's homeless crisis.

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A day after Mayor Karen Bass gave her first State of the City Address she unveiled a nearly $13 billion spending plan proposed to meet many of the goals she outlined in the speech, including homelessess.

In her address speech Bass said that the bulk of her budget will be focused on on three things. The first, will be to continue efforts in help the city's homelessness crisis, public safety and helping the overall city get to the "new LA."

The mayor presented her city budget during a news conference in City Hall The budget is a roadmap for the city to achieve goals outlined by the mayor and City Council.

"There is a difference between spending and investing,'' Bass said. "There is a difference between spending and
investing. This budget makes investments in bringing people inside and public safety, and other areas that will lead a return in terms of saving lives, in terms of quality of life and better neighborhoods.''

The budget proposes $1.3 billion for the city's homeless crisis. In addition, nearly $250 million will scale up the mayor's Inside Safe program citywide, a plan to bring people inside from tents and encampments, with the goal of housing 17,000 people in the first year.

Bass' plan is to evaluate more 3,000 city owned properties for housing use, which would then get thousands of individuals into stable housing.

The budget for Inside Safe will provide $110 million to pay for motel and other interim housing costs; $47 million to acquire motels and hotels to reduce future program costs; $10 million set aside for staff, including directors and property managers as well as administrative funding for service providers; $62 million for ongoing services such as case management, food, residential staff and support services; and $21 million for the development of transition and permanent housing, and the establishment of a 12-month rental assistance program.

 "This budget breaks new ground by funding the purchase of hotels and motels, which will reduce costs compared with renting rooms,'' Bass said. "This is long overdue and something that the community sees as just common sense.''

She also hinted at expanding the city's mental health crisis teams and funding new Mayor's Office of Community Safety, aimed at building a force of community intervention workers, social workers, clinical psychologists and other experts to respond when law enforcement is not required.

One of the mayor's most controversial topics on her budget is her proposal to hire more LAPD officers in the next year.

"My budget proposal calls for urgent action to hire hundreds of officers next year, on the way to restoring the department to full strength," Bass said.

As the LAPD has seen a decrease in employment rates Bass says it's her job to keep Angelenos safe. But many say that there are alternatives to keeping people safe than hiring more officers.

"Shift away from law enforcement led interventions to community-based and mental health led interventions," said Ivette Alé-Ferlito, the co-founder of La Defensa.

Her spending plan includes about $1 million to expedite the application process for candidates looking to join the LAPD. The city is also developing an incentive program that will provide bonuses of up to $15,000 for new officers and lateral recruitment.

City News Service contributed to this reporting.

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