SANTA MONICA— On Tuesday evening, June 23, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved a $613.6 million Fiscal Year 2020-2021 budget.
The budget reduces spending by approximately 25% as a consequence of the coronavirus. It addresses measures to close a projected $224 million budget deficit within the next year. The Santa Monica Police Department budget was also reduced by 3.3%.
A biennial Fiscal Year 2020- 2022 capital improvement budget was approved as well. It includes racial justice initiatives financed by the general and discretionary fund for the Black Agenda of the city. Proposals will be drafted by council directed staff on recommendations for police policies and public safety resources. These will then be examined by a Public Safety Reform Advisory Committee. Moreover, the budget lays out a process for historic preservation land marking. This will allow members of the Santa Monica community to identify structures for review for landmark consideration.
The council approved an Economic Recovery Fund of $1 million to assist Santa Monica individuals, families, and businesses. Other organizations received fund allocation including: Family Service of Santa Monica Community, St. Joseph’s Center Youth Resource Team (YRT) Collaborative, St. Joseph’s Santa Monica Retention Program, LAFLA Domestic Violence Clinic, and more.
In regards to the adopted budgets, Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown stated: “City budgets express community values, prioritized in a complex process involving patience and compromise, more so this time than in previous years and circumstances. Pandemic-triggered revenue shortfalls forced tough decisions that impact service levels to our residents and the livelihood of our dedicated City staff. Despite that, our City Council unanimously adopted a balanced budget aimed at Santa Monica’s long-term vitality, focused on recovery and reform.”