Budget proposal ramps up debate among committee

The City’s budget process is promising to yield heated political battles.

During the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Finance Committee meeting Wednesday, Supervisor Chris Daly attempted to take funding from a wheelchair ramp project to offset health service cuts announced earlier this year.

During the hearing, Daly criticized Mayor Gavin Newsom for not consulting with board members about $18 million in midyear cuts, which took dollars away from items board members funded during last year’s budget process.

“We have an administration that is running roughshod over board priorities,” Daly said.

The spending proposal would have taken about $760,000 from a wheelchair ramp project in the board chambers — backed by Newsom and Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier — and instead put the dollars toward health services.

Daly, whose public feuds with Newsom last year about funding priorities got him tossed off the committee, was reappointed this year.

The committee takes thefirst crack at the proposed budget, which is to be submitted to the board by June 1 for review and approval. The committee can vote to change funding choices.

Members of the public testified for the ramp project while others spoke against health service cuts.

“It’s going to be a very difficult year for this committee moving forward between now and the end of June,” Supervisor Jake McGoldrick said.

The committee voted 4-1, with Daly in opposition, to send an amended version to the full board, placing the money on reserve. This would allow the committee to release the money for any needs at a later date.

The City is facing a projected $350 million deficit next fiscal year.

jsabaini@examiner.com

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