Facing Deficit, Contra Costa Supervisors Vow To Protect Health Services
Contra Costa County supervisors, facing a July 1 deadline to close a $50 million budget shortfall, on Tuesday pledged to protect health, public safety and social services programs from spending reductions, the Contra Costa Times reports.
These services account for "more than 95% of the [county's] burden," the Times reports.
Supervisor John Giola, speaking at the first of several meetings to devise a plan for dealing with the deficit, said the county's health insurance program for uninsured people who do not qualify for Medi-Cal should be protected. He said, "We're helping people who, if something happened, would walk into our emergency rooms, which is much more expensive."
County Administrator John Sweeten said the county's fiscal outlook is worse than it has been in recent years. "Unfortunately, we will not have the level of one-time resources available we have had in the past," he said. Sweeten said he is asking county departments to make it through the next fiscal year without additional general fund support (Felsenfeld, Contra Costa Times, 3/16).