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Gloria Releases Revised San Diego Budget, Bringing Library Hours Back to Full Week

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria announcing expanded free Wi-Fi access in San Dieg...

Credit: Mayor Todd Gloria's Office

Above: San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria announcing expanded free Wi-Fi access in San Diego at the City Heights Weingart Library, April 20, 2021.

Keeping San Diego libraries open seven days a week and salary increases for most city employees are among the items Mayor Todd Gloria added to his May budget revision, which was released Tuesday and features an additional $73 million in spending.

"After years of budget mismanagement that resulted in structural budget deficits, we are getting our city back on track," Gloria said. "This budget update takes a balanced approach to stabilize the city's finances while investing in the people who provide services that make San Diego better for all of us."

The tweaks to the proposed budget will bring spending up to $4,631,966,620 for Fiscal Year 2022, which runs from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022.

The initial budget — which proposed spending $4,558,953,560 — was hammered by the City Council and public alike for a proposal to cut city library hours to five days a week as a cost-saving measure.

Other items added include the second phase of the city's pay equity study and salary increases for most city employees intended to make their pay more competitive with other local agencies.

Investments Gloria proposed in April remain in this plan, including more than $14 million to get San Diego families and businesses back to work. Other priorities being funded include:

• $10 million to build "sexy" streets in historically underserved communities, with another $30 million planned to come from debt proceeds;

• Reorganizing the city's executive team to save $784,000 annually;

• More than $10 million for immediate actions to combat the homelessness crisis, and funding to support the new Homelessness Strategies Department;

• Across the board decrease to San Diego Police Department overtime, saving more than $4 million annually;

• Reinvesting those savings through the new independent Commission on Police Practices;

• Increased funding for the "No Shots Fired" gang prevention program and additional community and youth-focused diversion programming;

• Creating a "Summer for All of Us" program to help children and their families take part in activities at libraries and recreation centers in communities of concern;

• Updates to the Climate Action Plan; and

• Investing $5 million into the new Climate Equity Fund.

San Diego had faced an expected budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year of $124 million. Earlier this month, the city was allocated $300 million in federal relief.

The final budget will be adopted in June following several weeks of review by the public and the City Council.

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