Budget deal reached, but clouded by debate over homeless encampment measure
By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt
San Francisco legislators reached an agreement over The City’s proposed budget Friday after three long days of negotiations, but funding could be in jeopardy due to a heated debate involving the homeless.
The deal between Mayor Ed Lee and the Board of Supervisors results in investing nearly $34 million in services for the homeless, public safety efforts and youth programs beyond what the mayor had initially proposed.
The board’s Budget and Finance Committee spent the past two weeks cutting the mayor’s $9.6 billion budget proposal, and began negotiating how to “add-back” the money Wednesday. A final deal was reached at around 3 p.m. Friday. The committee also allocated $26 million in the second year of the budget.
But the budget debate is still far from over.
In an unusual move, the budget assumes revenue from a sales tax hike expected to go before voters in November that would then be used to fund transit and homeless services. That would bring in some $100 million annually for transit and $50 million annually for homeless services.
That proposal, however, could be in peril.
Supervisor John Avalos said Friday he won’t support the sales tax measure for homeless services unless Supervisor Mark Farrell pulls his “vile political measure” that would prohibit tent encampments in public spaces and authorize The City to remove them within 24 hours.
The measure requires The City to offer housing or shelter before removing an encampment, but critics say there aren’t enough resources to accommodate the thousands of people who are living on the streets.
That controversial measure was placed last Tuesday on the November ballot by Farrell with the support of supervisors Scott Wiener, Katy Tang and Malia Cohen…
The full board is scheduled to vote July 19 on The City’s budget proposal…(more)