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Los Angeles City Council And Mayor Bass Disagree Over Homelessness Funding

Councilmember Proposes More Oversight on Mayor’s Spending Proposal

During the past two weeks, members of the Budget, Finance, and Innovation Committee of the council have scrutinized Councilwoman Bass’ expenditure proposal, which aims to allocate around $1.3 billion in total to address the crisis, and raised concerns with her team. Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, along with some colleagues, proposed that a portion of the homelessness funding requested by Bass be placed into a special account, known as the unappropriated balance or “UB,” at City Hall. 

This would allow the mayor’s spending proposal to be more thoroughly reviewed in the coming months. Under this arrangement, the mayor’s team would need council approval to access more funds, potentially several times, for Inside Safe. Blumenfield stated that council members need there to be additional oversight on the expenditures and how these programs will function while working collaboratively with the mayor.

The chair of the budget committee, Blumenfield, anticipates that the mayor will still receive the requested funds despite proposing an additional level of supervision and said, as quoted by The Los Angeles Times, “This is our city’s top priority. We need to all be engaged.”

Bass, in an interview that was quoted by The Los Angeles Times, condemned Blumenfield’s budget approach, referring to it as a “return to the past” when City Hall responded slowly to the homelessness crisis. According to Mayor Bass, she is already speaking with City Council members about the areas in their districts where they need help from Inside Safe the most.

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