A multi-million dollar emergency fund approved as part of San Francisco’s annual budget in July is coming in handy.
Mayor Ed Lee is expected to introduce to the Board of Supervisors today a budget supplemental to use $9.6 million from the $10 million socked away in an emergency fund, known as the state and federal impacts reserve, to cover unanticipated budget shortfalls.
The largest portion of the supplemental, $8.8 million, will go toward in-home care for low-income elderly and disabled residents. The In-Home Supportive Services program, overseen by the Human Services Agency, currently serves about 22,000 San Francisco residents and is meant to keep these persons out of nursing homes.
The cost of the program is shared between the state and counties, but Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget for the current fiscal year has shifted more of the cost onto the counties than anticipated. San Francisco had assumed an increase of $11 million in the $10.1 billion budget approved by The City in July, but that has increased to $19.9 million.
Last week, San Francisco was informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it would receive a $1.4 million cut in HIV/AIDS federal grant funding during the next five years, beginning in January 2018, which means the loss of $700,000 in the current fiscal year.
The mayor’s supplemental would offset the $700,000 federal cut to protect various services such as those that link people who test positive for HIV to medical care and track HIV patients.
The supplemental will also allocate $72,000 to cover the costs of having helped recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, apply for a two-year renewal by the Oct. 5 deadline, if their benefits were set to expire before March 5, 2018.
President Donald Trump announced in September he would end the program in six months, and allowed the short window for some to renew their benefits.
The mayor announced in September that The City would help DACA recipients apply and cover their $495 application renewal fee. The City covered the fee for 142 DACA recipients, who also are referred to as “Dreamers.”
The DACA program was created in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama and has helped nearly 800,000 young people, who were brought to the country illegally, to work and attend school without fear of deportation.
“These individuals are diligent students and dedicated workers who have only known this country as their home,” Lee said at the time. “We are proud to pay for their DACA application fees and we will continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform in this country.”
By delaying the termination of the program to March 2018, Trump gave the U.S. Congress time to try and come up with a legislative fix, but to date Congress has failed to act.
Supporters of the program are reportedly making a renewed push beginning this week, including rallies in front of the White House, calling on Congress to act before the year’s session concludes early next month.