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SGV Tribune

Garcetti urges furloughs for city employees to help L.A. fend off ‘attack’ from coronavirus

State of City address lays groundwork for mayor to release his budget proposal on Monday, April 20, for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The City City Council must approve the budget.

In an unprecedented State of the City address on Sunday, April, 19, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti outlined a plan under which employees of the pandemic-beleaguered city would get the equivalent of a 10% pay cut in the coming fiscal year.

Garcetti is expected to release his budget proposal on Monday, April 20, for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The City City Council must approve the budget.

Part of that spending plan will be 26 furlough days to be taken by civilian employees — which would not include sworn police and fire employees.

“I do not take that step lightly,” he said during a speech that painted a picture of the city’s economic health worse than that of the Great Recession.

Garcetti said the coming year’s budget will be a “document of our pain,” one that comes as the city is already seeing “sharply reduced strength” in its ability to maintain city services.

The city has seen steep drops in revenue, particularly from hotel tax revenue and other activity in the tourism industry, with air travel at Los Angeles World Airports is down by 95%, portending an even bigger hit to its fiscal health than even the 2008 Great Recession, according to Garcetti.

Garcetti’s speech revolved around the devastating blow the novel coronavirus has delivered to virtually all aspects of daily life in Los Angeles and the rest of the country, a month after he issued stay-at-home orders — restrictions that steadily ramped up in the subsequent days.

While he said there would be no statement — as there had been in previous years — that the state of the city was strong, Garcetti said that it was “ready” and that when the crisis is over, “we will fly again” in the City of the Angels.

“Our city is under attack,” he said. “Our daily life is unrecognizable. We are bowed and we are worn down. We are grieving our dead. But we are not broken, nor will we ever be.”

More to come