Statement from Mayor London Breed on Budget for Fiscal Years 2020-21 and 2021-22
San Francisco, CA — Today, Mayor London N. Breed issued the following statement regarding her signing of San Francisco’s $13.6 billion budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-21 and $12.4 billion budget for FY 2021-22.
“There is much we can be proud of in the two-year budget I have just signed. We have funded our Homelessness Recovery Plan that will move thousands of people from the streets and shelter into housing, continued our progress on mental health reform by funding innovative solutions like our Street Crisis Response Teams to assist those who suffer from mental illness and addiction on our streets, and followed through on our commitment to address systemic racism by making an historic investment in the African-American community. We met these key City priorities while continuing to fund our nationally-leading response to COVID with over $450 million dedicated to testing, contact tracing, health support, food, temporary housing and shelter for our most vulnerable residents. We did all this while closing a $1.5 billion two-year deficit without laying off a single City worker. This was, without a doubt, the most challenging budget I’ve ever experienced putting together, and I’m proud of everyone who worked on it, from my Budget team to all the Departmental staff.
That does not mean, however, that this Budget is perfect. We had to make a lot of hard choices to not fund certain priorities that we all support, but that’s part of balancing a budget in a recession. More so, the Board of Supervisors failed to make their own hard choice when they chose to fund pay raises for City employees.
I support our City workers, and it was critical to me that we not lay anyone off during this pandemic where over 200,000 San Francisco residents have already applied for unemployment. However, giving City workers pay raises at a time when so many people are suffering is irresponsible. Workers have lost hours at work and they have lost jobs. They are sitting at home with their families trying to figure out how they are going to pay their rent. Our small business owners have had to close their doors for good. How can we tell these residents who have lost so much that we are giving our workers raises?
The Board’s irresponsibility lies not only in committing to pay these raises at a time when our residents and small businesses are suffering, but also in the fact that the raises are built on funding that doesn’t even exist yet. These raises are contingent on a ballot measure passing in November -- a ballot measure that we were already relying on to help balance the significant general fund deficit we were facing without any raises. If that measure fails, then we will now not only need to find a new way to close our general fund gap, but we will have to find a new way to fund these raises. Despite the fact that this decision was made a month ago, the Board has not presented an alternative solution if that were to happen. No plan of what they will choose to cut. Of course, my office has been working on this, and it’s not going to be easy. It will likely require service cuts and not funding certain programs that benefit our residents. That’s the reality, and we have to be honest with the public.
So while I have signed the Budget, there is much more work to do. We know there will be changes to our revenue projections in the coming weeks, and that will change things, as will the outcome of the election. I’m committed to continuing to do the work, and make the hard choices. It’s how San Francisco has led the way through this public health crisis, and it’s how we will continue to get ourselves back on the road to recovery.”