San Francisco Board Committee Restores $16 Million in Cuts to Health Care, Social Programs
The San Francisco Budget and Finance Committee on Thursday voted 3-2 to recommend to the Board of Supervisors amendments to Mayor Gavin Newsom's (D) budget package, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The amendments would restore more than $16 million in reductions to AIDS care, substance abuse treatment, services for seniors and foster children, and other health and social welfare programs (Gordon/Goodyear, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/1).
Under Newsom's $5 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2006, public health and other public services in San Francisco would be reduced by $30 million to $40 million, despite a one-time influx of about $40 million (California Healthline, 5/12).
Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Sean Elsbernd and Fiona Ma voted for the amended budget, while Jake McGoldrick and Ross Mirkarimi -- both of whom said the restorations were inadequate -- voted against it.
The committee also voted to restore funding that would enable the dialysis unit at San Francisco General Hospital to remain open and to provide money for the Tenderloin Self-Help homeless drop-in center.
The proposed amendment included a total of 65 budget restorations. According to the Chronicle, the plan would "avoid the significant layoffs and drastic service cuts experienced in the past few years."
The full board will hold a preliminary vote on July 19 with final adoption expected to take place at the end of the month. The budget must receive at least six votes from the board's 11 members to pass.
Ammiano, who chaired the budget proceedings, said he is committed to finding additional funding for services in the coming weeks. "It ain't a perfect world, but I do think we were able to craft this in such a way that many needs of the disenfranchised were finally respected," Ammiano said.
Newsom on Thursday said that even with the budget restorations, the committee appeared to address the city's needs while not significantly adding to the projected deficit.
"It's a balanced budget in every respect,'' Newsom said. "It provides historic one-time (capital) investments ... and at the same time plugs the gaps in many of the social service cuts" (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/1).