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SD County Plans Cuts Despite $1 Billion Reserve

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San Diego County is proposing to eliminate 600 jobs and cut programs in social services despite having $1 billion in reserves. Almost half the reserves can be spent at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors.

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— San Diego County is proposing to eliminate 600 jobs and cut programs in social services despite having $1 billion in reserves. Almost half the reserves can be spent at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors.

The county's proposed budget calls for spending cuts of $145 million, the elimination of 600 jobs, and programs cuts for at-risk kids at and victims of domestic violence.

The county has more than $700 million in designated reserves. That's money tied up in funds to pay for specific programs -- things like future elections and potential lawsuits. Some of the reserves are also put away for unforeseen catastrophic events.

But the county’s financial statements from June of 2009 show there is another $575 million in an undesignated, unreserved fund -- money that can be spent at the Board’s discretion.

Document

San Diego County Annual Report: Budget Balance Sheet

San Diego County Annual Report: Budget Balance ...

County's Governmental Funds Balance Sheet as of June 30, 2009 <a href="http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/auditor/annual_report09/pdf/cafr0809.pdf">Download full report.</a>

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The balance is not reported in the county's operational plan, it is only reported online in its comprehensive annual financial report.

Supervisor Ron Roberts says the county’s discretionary reserve balance is now closer to $430 million because some of the money was spent last year.

Roberts says the Board does plan to use some of the fund next year to pay for a new property tax system and the next phase of the new county operations center.

However, cuts to the county’s 2-1-1 hotline and drug and alcohol treatment programs are proposed next year. The Board of Supervisors has a policy to not spend reserves on on-going programs or salaries.

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