LA Mayor Karen Bass unveils proposed city budget with focus on homeless crisis, bolstering LAPD

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Tuesday, April 18, 2023
LA Mayor Karen Bass unveils proposed city budget
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Mayor Karen Bass unveiled her proposed city budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year with funding priorities focused on the city's homelessness crisis.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Mayor Karen Bass on Tuesday unveiled her proposed city budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year with funding priorities focused on the city's homelessness crisis, supporting public safety and advancing a "new L.A."

The mayor presented her city budget during a news conference in City Hall. The budget is a roadmap for the city to achieve goals outlined by the mayor and City Council.

The mayor says the goal is to make both big changes and chart a course of sustainable change.

"There is a difference between spending and investing," Bass said. "This budget makes investments to bring people inside, in public safety and in other areas that will net a return in terms of lives saved, in terms of quality of life and better neighborhoods. It will save the city money in the long run."

Not unexpectedly, homelessness -- a major element of her campaign, in which she vowed to house 17,000 people in her first year -- was a major theme of Bass' first State of the City address on Monday and in the budget she presented Tuesday.

Mayor Karen Bass delivered her first State of the City Address Monday, where she said Los Angeles still has work to do in fixing the homeless crisis, improving the LAPD and public safety and even in filling many vacant positions within city government.

She noted that, so far, her administration has brought about 1,000 Angelenos indoors through her Inside Safe Program, and that her proposed budget aims to build on that.

"Building on the success of Inside Safe, my budget includes a $250 million investment to scale Inside Safe citywide."

The budget overall also includes an unprecedented $1.3 billion investment to "accelerate momentum" on the homelessness issue.

"This is a record for the City of Los Angeles," Bass said. "This is a truly historic City budget commitment -- because much of the state and federal pandemic money from the past couple of years is no longer available."

Through an executive directive and in coordination with the city attorney, Bass' office is working to provide thousands of properties and units for housing for those who are homeless. She said more than 3,000 city-owned properties are being evaluated for housing use.

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Among her funding priorities, Bass said during her Monday remarks that she will work to bolster the Los Angeles Police Department's rank as the number of LAPD officers continues to decrease with concerns it may drop below 9,000, which hasn't been the case since 2002.

"This has been an ongoing trend here in L.A. and in cities across the country -- and so I'm concerned that the department's recent release of information (of officers' photos and other information) will cause more officers to leave," she said.

The city will also be looking to hire more 911 operators as well, to help reduce calls for service response times.

Along with her plan to hire more officers, Bass said she also has been working to provide officers with more mental health training to reduce the number of mentally ill people shot and killed by the LAPD.

"By adding these resources and building more trust between communities and the department. We will better meet our priorities of reducing property crime, maintaining the downward trend in violent crime, and increasing homicide clearance rates," Bass said.

City News Service contributed to this report.