Mayor begins cutting budget *

Villaraigosa is holding a presser now to announce budget steps he's ordering. Spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton tweeted an advance peek, including 1,000 layoffs with about 360 of those transferring to other positions.

Mayor will take all action afforded to him in the Charter to balance the budget. This includes:

1. Directing the elimination of 1,000 filled, full-time positions in the current budget and...

instructing the Personnel Dept to begin the process of layoff and transfer for the 1,000 targeted positions...

These transfers will permit approx 360 employees to avoid layoffs...

2. Call on council to adopt an ordinance to allow city employees to retire w/o the usual 30-60 day advance application requirement...

3. Retiring all general funded early retirement applicants ASAP, moving them off the payroll by March 13th.

4. Asking council to move their uncommitted funds, totaling up to $40 million, into the City's Reserve Fund.

There will be more...I'll be live-tweeting from mayor's budget press conf. Stay tuned

She tweets here.

* Update: Release from Vilaraigosa's office after the jump.


Mayor Orders Immediate Steps Be Taken to Address $212 Million Deficit

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took immediate action today to balance the Los Angeles city budget and commit the City to long-term fiscal health and sustainability.

Using the authority invested in the Office of the Mayor by the City Charter, Villaraigosa directed the Personnel Department to eliminate 1,000 general fund positions and begin calculating layoffs, displacement seniority, and/or transfers of employees to fill these targeted positions.

“Every budget is a balancing act,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “We have been living beyond our means and now we have difficult choices to make. Each day we fail to act we lose an estimated $300,000. We must protect our fiscal health and economic future.”

Yesterday, the City Council postponed decision-making on plans to address the budget shortfall. In doing so, they added an estimated $4 million to the deficit for this fiscal year, already calculated at $212 million.

In addition to directing the layoffs and transferring as many general funded employees as possible into special funded and proprietary departments, the Mayor has asked the Council to adopt an ordinance that would allow City employees to retire without the 30 to 60 day advance application typically required. The Mayor is also requesting that the
Council move their uncommitted funds — currently totaling up to $40 million — into the City’s Reserve Fund until such time that the fund reaches 5% of the overall budget.

“I do not relish these decisions, but neither will I shy away from them or pretend they don’t exist,” the Mayor said. “Angelenos all over our City are making tougher choices between food or their prescription drugs, between school supplies and a doctor’s visit for their child, or between their electric bill and their rent. It is time that we at City Hall follow their lead, set priorities, and make the tough choices necessary to protect our core responsibilities.”

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