SAN FRANCISCO—Mayor Edward Lee signed the city’s two-year budget during an official signing ceremony in the morning on Wednesday, July 29, at City Hall.
The budget plans for the fiscal years 2015-16 and 2016-17 feature no cuts and will provide funding for the hiring of 400 new police officers over the next two years. The budget will also allow the city to hire 198 firefighters, 55 paramedics and 36 emergency dispatchers.
“We are creating jobs, growing a thriving economy and increasing city services, while keeping our City safe, affordable and compassionate with these smart, strategic investments,” said Mayor Lee in a press release. “This fiscally-responsible, balanced budget makes historic investments in housing, transportation and education, increases city services including public safety, supports our continuing economic recovery, protects social services for residents most in need, and is affordable over the long term.”
Affordable housing is a focal point of the new budget, with $50 million in new funding allotted to accelerate affordable housing projects. Mayor Lee has been vocal about his goal of completing 30,000 new and rehabilitated homes by 2020.
“Not only did we fund an historic million investment in affordable housing, but also placed a record amount into our city reserves given our strong local economy,” Supervisor Mark Farrell, Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, said in a statement. “We ultimately passed a budget that reflects the values of all San Franciscans and places top priority on addressing affordability, public safety, and reducing homelessness.”
The budget also addresses public transportation and street repair issues. A 10 percent service increase will be put into effect at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in order to improve crowding and reliability issues. The budget also allows for 1,400 blocks to be repaved over the next two years, with funding provided by the Streets and Road Resurfacing Bond.
“San Francisco is fortunate to have a thriving economy and unprecedented civic resources,” said Board President London Breed. “And with this year’s budget we have put those resources to use, investing in a better transportation system, increased public safety, and more affordable housing—all while placing millions in reserve so we can maintain these investments if and when the economy turns the other way.”