June 22, 2021
Ventura, Calif .– The county’s board of supervisors unanimously approved a balanced budget of $ 2.55 billion for fiscal year 2021-22 during Monday’s budget hearing. “This budget, under the direction of the board of directors, represents the culmination of more than six months of work with ministries, the tax team, the board of directors and the community. County General Manager Mike Powers said. “The budget also supports the maintenance of essential health, social and security services, streets and roads, capital investments and IT infrastructure. At the same time, it improves what the Council has identified as a priority, including public health, mental health, services for people facing homelessness and climate action. “
Recognizing the great need to support the homeless, the budget includes ongoing support to shelters throughout the year, rapid relocation / rental assistance, street outreach services, homelessness prevention, owner engagement, youth services and permanent supportive housing. Additional state and federal funding is also under consideration to support the continued crisis response and permanent housing resources.
“It’s amazing that you can deploy so many resources to help people on so many levels,” said Board Chair Linda Parks. “I am really happy with the strength of this budget. Our priorities have been taken and costed, which means services and support for our communities.
The budget also includes expanded public health services, new positions in mental health diversion programs, increased staffing and funding for services in the Farmworker Resource Program, new positions to support diversity, equity, inclusion and community engagement efforts, among others.
In support of mental health services, the budget includes a contribution to the General Fund to fund the staffing of the remaining seven inpatient psychiatric beds at the inpatient psychiatric unit at Ventura County Medical Center. The increased funding will allow the county to add four additional chairs to the Crisis Stabilization Unit.
In support of environmental sustainability, the budget includes funding and staff for the implementation of the Climate Action Plan. This plan was adopted as part of the General Plan to assess policies and programs for greenhouse gas reduction, sea level rise and climate adaptation strategies that address the county’s vulnerabilities to change. climate and increase the long-term resilience of the county.
The budget also invests in supporting protective services for youth and adults in foster care, supporting the increase in addiction services, the transition from the closure of the Juvenile Justice Division of the State that transfers responsibility for young adults up to age 25 to county youth facilities, among other areas of public safety and welfare.
The county continues to invest in infrastructure, including major upgrades to county fire stations and the purchase of the Family Justice Center to provide services to victims of crime.
Major budget highlights include a total county appropriation of $ 2.55 billion, up $ 97.9 million or 4.0% from the previous year. General Fund General purpose revenue includes $ 464.8 million, an increase of $ 17.2 million or 3.9% from the prior year. COVID-19 response programs postponed to fiscal year 2021-2022 include business assistance grants, housing assistance for people facing homelessness, vaccine distribution, provision of food to confined elderly home and disabled people, farm worker assistance, and Ventura County medical system operations. “The pandemic recovery does not recognize fiscal years. Support programs continue into the next fiscal year to help our community recover,” said County General Manager Mike Powers. The budget increases trade fee exemptions to 100%, for an estimated total of $ 3.6 million in support of further economic recovery in the event of a pandemic. The budget comes after the county’s $ 373 million COVID-19 spending plan through June 30, 2021, which has been carefully budgeted to ensure the maximum amount has been invested in services for the community.
This press release was produced by Ventura County Government. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.