Revised County Budget Increases Funding for Public Safety, Economic Development
RIVERSIDE – Greater economic development investment championed by County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, as well as increased funding for public safety departments, were included in the revised county budget approved today.
Supervisor Perez joined his colleagues in voting for the budget, a $5.5 billion spending plan that keeps residents safe, and protects seniors and families.
“We balanced the budget, protected the public by investing in public safety, and focused on job creation and business development, and serving our seniors, veterans and families,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “While it was a difficult budget process, we worked with the county team, listened to our district residents and put together a budget we can build on.”
The county budget now includes $4 million in general fund support to the Riverside County Economic Development Agency (EDA), up from $3.2 million in the original budget. Perez sought the 20 percent boost during budget hearings last month, citing EDA’s work to attract business to the county.
Perez says this increased funding will help the agency develop short-, mid- and long-term strategies for economic success and find opportunities to assist communities that haven’t attained full employment such as Blythe, Desert Hot Springs and Indio. Blythe has been particularly hard-hit with business closures in the last year.
At the recommendation of Supervisor Perez, the Board supported adding $17.9 million over what was originally proposed for the Sheriff’s Department budget, which will help residents of unincorporated communities remain protected and well served. The revised budget also increases access to justice, with increases of $6.1 million to the District Attorney’s office and $4.4 million to the Public Defender’s office.
The county budget will be considered for final adoption in September.