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Mayor begins laying out budget proposal

San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders says he plans to sell $500 million in pension obligation bonds over the next two years to plug the pension deficit hole. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The mayor will reveal elements of his budget plan every day this week, leading up to the full budget proposal on Friday. His strategy includes putting $850 million into the pension plan over two years, in a concerted effort to bring down the unfunded liability.

However, much of that will come from borrowing, by buying pension obligation bonds. Sanders says borrowing will leave more cash in the city coffers to deal with other problems.

Sanders: "We will be putting that money into deferred maintenance, into reserves, we will not be hiring new people starting new programs, we'll be on the same austerity budget we're on right now."

The mayor says he will fully fund the police department, which has been under funded for years. The police force is currently short 135 officers, but the new budget will allow the force to hire up to full staffing of 2,100 officers. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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