Home>Articles>LA City Council Approves $11.8 Billion Budget for 2022-2023 in 14-1 Vote

Aerial view of a Downtown Los Angeles at sunset. (Photo: Shutterstock TierneyMJ)

LA City Council Approves $11.8 Billion Budget for 2022-2023 in 14-1 Vote

‘I hope Garcetti signs this; the LAPD and the people of Los Angeles deserve better’

By Evan Symon, May 19, 2022 2:38 am

The Los Angeles City Council Approved the revised $11.8 billion budget for 2022-2023, focusing largely on returning services and personnel to departments depleted during COVID-19 epidemic years.

According to the approved budget, $3.2 billion alone will go towards the LA Police Department, with the LA Fire Department the second highest beneficiary, receiving roughly $1.25 billion. The only other services and departments to get above the $500 million threshold are the Bureau of Sanitation, which will get just under $1 billion, and $1.5 Billion going towards other special purpose funds. With combined budget allocations, important city issues such as homelessness also saw over $1 billion in funds, including $377 million going towards permanent supportive housing and $208 million to the Project Homekey program.

The LAPD saw the largest increase in funds, with the Department being refunded and expanded back out due to cuts stemming from the George Floyd protests in 2020. Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed last month a recruitment of 780 officers, although some in city hall, including Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso say that the number would likely be a few hundred less due to an already declining number of officers in the Department, with a likely range of between 600 and 650 coming in. Overall, the LAPD saw a funding jump of 2.84%, or $87 million, since last years budget.

According to Councilman Paul Krekorian, budget increases in many departments were made to restore services lost during the pandemic, increase public safety, and to increase the focus on the homelessness crisis in the city.

“This is a balanced budget and begins to restore services that have been lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, that emphasizes cleanliness in our city and emphasizes a response to homelessness that will be effective, emphasizes enhancing public safety in all of its aspects in our city and restoring the basic core services that people expect of this City Council,” said Krekorian on Wednesday. “When you’re talking about fundamental changes, structural changes, some things take time, especially if you care about getting it right, and not just creating slogans.”

$3.2 billion for the LAPD in 2022-2023

However, the increase in police funding did not please everyone on the City Council Wednesday. While 14 council members voted for approval, Councilman Mike Bonin, voted against it, largely due to the increase in LAPD funding and moving away focus from a more alternate public safety emphasis on community programs and preventative care.

“There’s something I think is troublingly ironic about protests against police violence, resulting in police violence, resulting in the police department getting more money,” Bonin said on Wednesday. “The narrative in the media and political campaigns is that you combat crime with cops, but we still haven’t made the long arc change, the big pivot, to how do we do the prevention stuff? How do we grow so that our summer youth jobs program is 50,000 instead of 1,000 kids, how do we do it so the Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program is everywhere in the city or that the therapeutic vans is everywhere instead of in five or six places?”

“Two years after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the council still has not made the pivot to reimagining public safety, putting a greater emphasis on prevention and community care. The narrative is so much ‘crime, police, crime police,’ that for me, I want to vote in a way that says the narrative isn’t right.”

Observers on Wednesday noted that Los Angeles is now correcting mistakes it made with budget cuts and reallocations beginning with the new budget.

“They made a quick reactionary change rather than a calculated change,” said former police officer and current police consultant Jake Snyder to the Globe on Wednesday. “You want to change things in a police department, like having money go towards a new area, that’s fine, but you need to make sure it works first. Like a new part of the department working on community improvement to reduce crime from that angle. Great, but let’s do a pilot program first, see what the costs will be and what the effectiveness will be. People want change fast, and in some cases putting more officers out there works. But you need to know where to put them and how best to utilize them too.”

“Slashing the budget was a huge mistake, and LA residents paid for that with higher crime and not getting an officer in times of emergencies. I hope Garcetti signs this. The LAPD and the people of Los Angeles deserve better.”

The City Council has until June 1st to send the budget to Mayor Garcetti to sign off on. The new fiscal year for the budget is to begin July 1st.

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Evan Symon
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2 thoughts on “LA City Council Approves $11.8 Billion Budget for 2022-2023 in 14-1 Vote

  1. The “Defund The Police” buffoons don’t realize that it takes MORE money, and A LOT OF TIME to bring an agency back to appropriate working levels to provide good service to the community. They basically championed lawlessness and further abuse of crime victims by making the police the enemy. Any politician who voted or votes to defund the police should not be allowed to be in any public office. They are destroyers.

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