Newsom Budget Proposal Could Call for Reduced Public Health Services
Public health and other public services in San Francisco could be reduced by $30 million to $40 million under Mayor Gavin Newsom's (D) fiscal year 2006 budget, despite a one-time influx of about $40 million, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The influx is attributed primarily to a stronger-than-expected increase in tax revenue, but the funds might be used to "start addressing" maintenance and construction needs in the city, according to Ben Rosenfeld, Newsom's budget director.
Rosenfeld said that Newsom would work to preserve safety net services for low-income San Francisco residents despite some potential funding cuts to public health programs. Rosenfeld said that additional funding reductions would have to be made later if cuts this fiscal year are deferred and tax revenue decreases.
Supervisor Tom Ammiano, chair of the board's Budget and Finance Committee, said, "It's a shame we have to choose between prenatal care for moms and fixing a pothole." Ammiano said he would not vote for a budget that draws money from public services for street repairs.
Newsom must present the balanced budget to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors by June 1. The budget is expected to be about $5 billion, with a projected deficit of $59 million (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/11).