Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sacramento County Facing Budget Deficit of $38 million

The State of California has been dealing with enough of their own budget problems, and now the state’s capitol – and my hometown – is beginning to have their own problems. New reports suggest that the Sacramento County is facing a budget deficit of nearly $38 million, and it could get worse soon. An article from the Sacramento Bee explains how this new revelation could affect all Californians.

Less than a month into the fiscal year and Sacramento County officials are already saying there's a near $38 million budget shortfall that could get even worse.

In addition to the $9.8 million in projected welfare costs the county chose not to fund in June, sales tax, property tax and other revenue projections made just months ago are already proving to be overly optimistic. Then there's the matter of the $10 million the supervisors have said they want to restore to the Sheriff's Department.

All of that means the county -- which laid off 243 employees and eliminated numerous contracts earlier this month in order to pass a "balanced" $2 billion general fund spending plan -- could be making more big cuts in a couple months.

The board will discuss the worsening budget situation at its meeting this afternoon. Originally the supervisors were going to talk about where they would cut $10 million from the budget in order to restore some funding to the Sheriff's Department and save 70 deputy jobs.

County Executive Terry Schutten's office, however, is recommending that "instead of a piecemeal approach...all these issues be dealt (with) at final budget hearings."

The Sheriff's Department has enough money in its budget to cover the cost of those 70 deputies until the fall when the board amends the spending plan it passed last month, according to Schutten's office.

The board will begin discussing the so-called "final budget" at a hearing Sept. 10.

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