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Jail release, healthcare law funding boost county budget

POSTED August 30, 2013 10:33 p.m.

Stanislaus County officials released an updated budget for  2013-2014 on Friday, which includes a 3.2 percent increase from the budget adopted in June.

The new recommended budget for 2013-2014 totals $1,042,987,731, a 3.2 percent increase over the previously adopted budget and a 6 percent increase in comparison to last year's budget. The increase in spending is credited to the additional federal revenue for social services programs and revenue associated with rearrangement of prison systems.

Stan Risen, interim chief executive officer for the county, said the county’s improving numbers are a good sign, and that it was the mission of country leadership to continue to the ride the coattails of the upward trend.

“I am pleased the financial state of our county is showing modest signs of improvement,” said Risen in a press release.  “We are committed to returning the county to financial strength through sound fiscal policy and prudent management decisions.”

Risen stated that although the county has seen a spike in revenue, officials are still practicing minimalism when it comes to the budget.

 “Even though we are seeing an increase in appropriations in areas receiving additional state or federal revenue, we are moving forward in a conservative way,” Risen continued.

 According to county officials, the increase in appropriations since the previously adopted budget is largely due to: accounting adjustments that reflect just under $14.8 million in cost saving,  $8.1 million of additional revenue from security realignment, and  nearly $6 million in the Community Services Agency budgets due to federal revenue that will be used for the implementation of the new healthcare law.

The county is also recommending 13 new positions for a total of 3,920 allocated full-time positions in the final budget, with funding for most of these position coming from the new federal revenue. Also, 10 additional positions were added to the final 2013-2014 budget for the public safety center and jail expansion.

Even with the recommended changes, the number of full-time allocated positions will be 12 percent lower than the high of 4,459 in Fiscal Year 2008-2009.

Discretionary revenue, which is used for healthcare, parks and law enforcement, is budgeted at $156 million for the final budget.

A public hearing to adopt the Recommended Final Budget for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 has been scheduled for 9:05 a.m. on Sept. 10, to be continued if necessary on Sept. 11 and 12, 2013 at 9 a.m.  The meeting will take place at 1010 Tenth Street in Modesto in the basement Board Chambers. The Stanislaus County 2013-2014 Recommended Final Budget is available for public review.  It can be viewed at the Board of Supervisors Office, online at www.stancounty.com/budget or at any of the 13 libraries located throughout Stanislaus County.

 

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