Apr 24, 2024 - Politics

California politicians lobby each other amid budget crunches

Photo illustration of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria with lines radiating from him.

Photo illustration of Mayor Todd Gloria: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

Government officials are lobbying their peers as new budget realities make resources scarce for competing priorities.

Why it matters: Budget crunches are hitting cities, states and school districts after pandemic-era stimulus payments fattened government coffers in recent years.

Driving the news: Mayor Todd Gloria — as chair of the Big City Mayors, a coalition of the leaders of California's 13 largest cities — urged officials Tuesday in Sacramento not to cut a major homeless funding source despite state budget constraints.

  • A day earlier, county supervisor Monica Montgomery Steppe urged Gloria not to cut local equity programs amid city budget woes.

The big picture: California leaders this month agreed to $17 billion in budget fixes, but are still working on a spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

The intrigue: Montgomery Steppe, in a letter sent Monday night, asked Gloria to reverse proposed budget cuts to the Housing Commission, as well as programs for gun violence prevention, internet access, climate equity and cannabis equity.

  • "We cannot allow financial constraints to serve as an excuse for neglecting the needs of our marginalized populations," wrote Montgomery Steppe, who served on the City Council before she was elected to the County Board of Supervisors last month.

What's next: The City Council will begin department-by-department budget reviews in advance of an updated Gloria proposal next month and final approval in June.


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