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LA City Council votes to cut police budgets

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The Los Angeles City Council has voted to cut $150 million from the police department's budget next fiscal year. 

While disclosing this on Wednesday July 1, 2020, a Los Angeles Unified spokesperson stated that the reduction was consequent upon the demands from activists to reduce funding for law enforcement.

According to him, the City Council's Budget and Finance Committee voted recently to reduce the cut to the Los Angeles Police Department by about $17 million and use most of the money to stop possible furloughs of city employees. 

He added that during a late-Monday meeting, the committee voted to restore the $150 million reduction and use most of it for improving underserved areas and communities of color.

"Our vice chair in Budget and Finance, led an effort to ensure that not only were those savings realized in the LAPD budget, but there would also be steps taken to approve $90 million. 

"It would be available to protect critical city services, including Targeted Local Hire and to begin reinvesting in disadvantaged communities and communities of color and reimagining public safety," Councilman Paul Krekorian, who chairs the council's Budget and Finance Committee, said during City Council meeting.

"This gives us an opportunity to do those things. It also sets aside money to protect our Summer Youth Hiring Program this year, and the remaining balance will go into the (unassigned) reserve for mid-year adjustments, which we will certainly be needing to make throughout the fiscal year," he added. 

The council voted 12-2 in favor of the budget adjustments with no discussion, and Councilmen Joe Buscaino and John Lee cast the dissenting votes.

This year's budget process for Los Angeles is unlike any other due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the City Council voted on financial adjustments to a spending plan that's already in effect, as the fiscal year began Wednesday.

The proposed operating budget of the LAPD was about $1.86 billion before the proposed cuts, which have been derided by the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents the department's roughly 9,900 sworn officers.

Of the $150 million cut, about $40 million will be used to help avoid planned furloughs of city employees in an effort to save $139 million.

The entire Los Angeles 2020-21 budget is about $10.5 billion.

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