Budget spares social services, boosts nonprofits

Courtesy PhotoSupervisor Jane Kim

Courtesy PhotoSupervisor Jane Kim

It took until about 5 in the morning, but spending changes in Mayor Ed Lee’s two-year budget were finally agreed upon Friday.

Pay raises for nonprofit workers, $1.2 million for a third legislative aide for members of the Board of Supervisors and $2 million for additional homeless services were among the changes.

The hours had dragged on at City Hall as supervisors put together $39 million from Lee’s budget submission to address needs in their neighborhoods and those requested by nonprofits providing social services under city contracts.

While the board’s Budget and Finance Committee made $13 million in cuts during two weeks of hearings, it took negotiations with Lee to come up with the remainder, which included trimming $1 million from the mayor’s small-business revolving loan fund program.

“The budget that was moved forward to the full board protects the social safety net, has no cuts to social services, and includes funding for the mayor’s priorities for jobs, infrastructure, public safety and housing,” Lee’s spokeswoman Christine Falvey said. “The mayor is pleased and thanks the budget committee for their work.”

The committee had scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Thursday to vote on the budget.

“A lot of people came to a position of compromise by making reductions on all sides,” Supervisor Jane Kim said during the lengthy meeting.  Kim said the spending changes resulted in “restoring a number of cuts that I think we’ve seen over the last five, six years.”

Included in the committee’s spending package for the upcoming fiscal year is $3.5 million for a slew of social services — youth shelters, immigrant legal services, AIDS services and employment programs. Another $3 million was allocated for increases in staff at homeless shelters, and $1 million will go toward rental subsidies and eviction defense.

The committee also included $4.1 million for a 1 percent cost-of-living increase for workers at city-contracted nonprofits, adding to the 1 percent included in Lee’s initial budget submission.

The full board is expected to vote on the budget July 17.


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