The County of San Diego’s new spending plan reflects efforts to protect the physical and economic health of residents.
In fiscal year 2020-21, the budget will increase 4.8% from the previous year to $6.55 billion. The County’s spending plan focuses on the unprecedented challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic, its economic impact and growing calls for social justice and racial equality.
COVID-19 increased unanticipated costs and had a negative impact on the County’s actual revenues in fiscal year 2019-20. Significant fiscal increases to the Health and Human Services Agency are largely driven by costs for COVID-19 response efforts including the Test, Trace and Treat Strategy (T3) funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act revenue.
To support the County’s residents and communities, budget increases will support capital projects for mental health and substance abuse service providers, increased mobile crisis response and stabilization, felony diversion, first responder services and more vocational training opportunities for local veterans.
The County increased funding to address homelessness in the unincorporated areas, including expansion of the County’s Hotel/Motel Voucher program. Additional housing and homelessness efforts will be addressed through social services and emergency assistance tied to COVID-19 funding.
The Public Safety Group continues to work toward transforming juvenile justice with investment in future designs for the Juvenile Justice Campus in Kearny Mesa and support for the District Attorney’s Juvenile Diversion initiative as well as investment in the North County Family Justice Center.
Budget increases in the Finance and General Government Group are
mostly due to the transfer of the Citizens’ Law
Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) from the Public Safety Group
and more investigations into incidents involving County peace or
custodial officers. Additional funding in the Chief Administrative
Office budget will establish the new Office of Equity and
Racial Justice. This new office will work with the community to
develop its mission and goals.
Overall, the County will decrease the number of staff positions by
71.0 or 0.4% next year to 17,953.5 full-time equivalent positions.
Most of the decrease will take place in the Public Safety Group with
no impacts to the safety of the public.
The budget includes various mitigation strategies to ensure
structural balance. Over the long term, the County must make
operational and structural changes to lower its fixed cost structure
by reevaluating its priorities, projects and timelines to lower costs;
to maximize efficiencies where possible; and to align staffing and
service capacity with new economic realities.