Riverside County’s 2016-2017 Adopted Budget Response

The Recommended 2017 budget will increase discretionary spending. The discretionary general fund portion of the FY 16/17 budget includes $813.7 million in discretionary general fund allocations. Most of the increase goes to Public Protection, which comprises 75 percent of the discretionary budget. It totals $609.6 million. Of this, the Sheriff’s Department is recommended to receive $278.7 million, an increase of $24 million. The creation of Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the expansion of Medi-Cal coverage have reduced the number of uninsured residents. These changes have reduced, but not eliminated, the scope of MISP. Riverside county had budgeted a total of $8,830,180 in 2016 and $6,768,946 in 2017 for MISP. This decrease is due to less money coming in from the state. The county is allocating the same amount in the discretionary budget. With a $20,000,000 contingency budget, CAP would like the county to at least maintain the program by allocating the extra $2,000,000 needed to cover the state’s cut or add more and develop the program to serve the growing number of people falling through the cracks.

In November 2015, Riverside County Board of Supervisors announced their adopted budget, the discretionary portion of the budget included $657.2 million in general fund expenditures. This was an 8 percent increase from the 2014 budget. Revenue increased primarily because of growth in property tax values, sales tax, and the landfill lease agreements. The difference between the discretionary spending and revenue was covered by the general fund carryover balance ($23 million, FY 2014-2015 adopted budget document-Board of Sups “General Fund-Discretionary Revenue and Spending” page 4). With these funds, the county was able to increase spending on some Health and Human Services programs, we are disappointed that revenues were not used to strengthen the MISP program to cover those county residents who are unable to access ACA. CAP would like Riverside County to rebuild and reinvest in Riverside’s safety net. This budget does not meet needs of families struggling in an environment of high unemployment and poverty. The amount of discretionary revenue available for budget purposes continues to show growth. Discretionary revenue projections grew 8% , from $590.7 million in FY 13/14 to $637.4 million in FY 14/15, an increase of $46.7 million (FY 2014-2015 adopted budget document-Board of Sups “Executive Summary Budgetary Highlights page 3).

General Fund - Discretionary Revenue and Spending-Adopted Budget FY 14/15

Public Protection $474, 711, 986
Health & Sanitation $93, 299, 741
Public Assistance $37, 604, 574l
Education, Recreation and Culture $2,336, 401
Debt Service & Contingency $25, 317, 015
General Government $20, 712, 505

General Fund - Discretionary Revenue and Spending-Adopted Budget FY 15/16

Public Protection $504,700,000
Health & Sanitation $99,500,000
Public Assistance $43,000,000
Education, Recreation & Culture $700,000
Debt Service and Contingency $36,800,000
General Government $101,000,000

General Fund - Discretionary Revenue and Spending-Adopted Budget FY 16/17

Public Protection $609,600,000 ($134,888,014 or 27% increase above 2015)
Health & Sanitation $63,300,000 ($29,999,741 or 33% decrease below 2015)
Public Assistance $43,000,000
Education, Recreation & Culture $700,000
Contingency $20,000,000
Debt Service $1,400,000
General Government $27,800,000
Contribution to Other Funds $47,800,000

Public Protection

The 2017 Public Protection budget is $100 million dollars more then the 2016 budget. This reflects the County Board of Supervisors continued effort to use policing to address social problems created by a lack of access to employment, mental health treatment, homeless services and effective drug treatment programs. Many other counties have programs that are proving to be both more effective at reducing the social impact and the costs associated with mental illness and addiction if we deal with these problems outside the criminal justice systems. The Public Protection budget funds many agencies. The list includes the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, Animal Services, the Building and Safety Department, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS), Code Enforcement, The County Clerk, the Grand Jury Services, the District Attorney (DA), The Environmental Programs Division (EPD) , the Fire Department , the Emergency Management Department (EMD), Indigent defense, the Public Defender, The Sheriff’s Department, the Probation Department.

Health & Sanitation

The $30 million dollars in cuts in the 2017 Health and Sanitation budget further reflect the County’s drive to ignore the evidence that demonstrates that the police are ineffective at addressing the social impact of drug addiction and mental health. With more of the budget consumed by Public Protection there will be fewer resources allocated to funds health, hospital care, mental health, substance abuse, and sanitation. This buget incompasses Correctional Health Services. The rest is divided by agencies that are dealing with the brunt of a population with a Per capita income of $28,555. This budget includes Riverside University Health System, the Department of Environmental Health’s (DEH) the LIHP (being discontinued as funding from the State has ended), the Medically Indigent Services Program (MISP), Correctional Health Services, and the Public Health department.

Public Assistance

Public Assistance budget remains unchanged at a time when both poverty and population have increased. The total Public Assistance budget is less than half of just the one year increase in the Public Protection budget. This budget funds public aid programs including general relief, care for court wards, and veterans’ services. The budget is divided between The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), responsible for providing federal and state mandated services and assistance aimed at supporting and improving the health, safety, and overall well-being of individuals and families. The department serves a diverse community through a variety of federal, state and county-funded programs, including: CalWORKs, CalFresh (Food Stamps), Medi-Cal, General Relief (GR), Child Protective Service, Adult Protective Service, In-Home Supportive Service (IHSS) and Homeless Assistance.

Debt Service & Contingency

Debt service and contingency budget service county debt and holds money for general contingency. With a $20,000,000 contingency budget CAP would like the county to at least maintain the MISP program by allocating the extra $2,000,000 need to cover the state’s cut or add more and develop the program into a preventative health program to serve the growing number of people falling through the cracks.

Education, Recreation and Culture

The Education, recreation, and cultural service budget funds library services, recreation facilities and cultural services. It also manages the Cooperative Extension services department with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the University of California (University) and the County of Riverside to conduct research and outreach in agriculture, nutrition, 4H youth development and to facilitate the Master Gardener program.

General Government
General government budget funds the county’s multiple government agencies: Assessor, County Clerk, Recorder, and Records Management Program, Auditor-Controller, the Board of Supervisors and County Counsel.

Budget Timeline
The budget process occurs year round, beginning with development of internal service rates and culminating with approval of the adopted budget. Budget amendment takes place throughout the fiscal year.

October through December The Executive Office develops budget guidelines for the next fiscal year based on economic indicators, revenue forecasts, and Board of Supervisors priorities. Internal service rates are developed based on anticipated operating budgets for the next fiscal year in accordance with Board policy.

January through February At midyear, the Executive Office presents an overview of projected budget conditions, recommends budget policies for the coming fiscal year, and seeks guidance regarding budget priorities from the Board. Internal service rates are also presented for approval. The Executive Office distributes Board budget policies, priorities, and information about budget targets, deadlines, and rates to departments.

March through April Departments submit budget requests to the Executive Office for review and inclusion in the recommended budget. If economic conditions allow, departments submit new capital improvement project requests to the Executive Office. Due to current economic conditions, new requests were not solicited for FY 15/16.

May through June The Executive Office presents the third quarter budget report in May, which includes the current year budget status, economic forecasts, and a preview of budget considerations for the following fiscal year. The Executive Officer presents the recommended budget to the Board for approval in June, immediately after which budget hearings are conducted and the Board provides direction on policy decisions.

July through September The Executive Office prepares final budget recommendations addressing the direction given by the Board. Year-end closing begins on which ending balances are based.

August through November Once year-end balances are complete, the Executive Office finalizes the adopted budget for publication, which is submitted to the State Controller by December 1 in accordance with the County Budget Act (Government Code §§29000-29144 and §30200). The County Budget Act authorizes the Board to amend the budget throughout the fiscal year with a 4/5 vote.