Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will be among the more than 15,000 city workers to be hit with furloughs during an unprecedented fiscal emergency, he said Wednesday,
The LA City Council voted earlier Wednesday to declare the emergency and signed off plans for the furloughs as well as retirement buyouts for another roughly 1,280 employees, a local NBC affiliate reported.
“The furloughs apply to us as elected officials and to all civilian employees, including those who work in our office, so yes,” the mayor said during a news briefing when asked if he would also be furloughed.
“I donated two months of salary earlier this year during the pandemic, so about a sixth of my net income,” he went on.
“But I absolutely believe that we have to lead by example and we can’t ask more from folks than we’re willing to do ourselves,” Garcetti went on.
LA expects revenue from the 2021 fiscal year to fall anywhere between $45 million to $409 million below the initial $6.68 billion estimates, the station reported. The furloughs will zap about 10 percent of LA city workers’ pay, bringing in $104.2 million in savings.
“This will be the toughest budget year we have ever faced,” Garcetti said.
The city has received federal coronavirus relief, but those dollars are earmarked for fighting COVID-19 and cannot be used to close revenue losses, according to the NBC affiliate.
Cities and agencies across the country are looking for additional federal aid to replenish coronavirus-ravaged budgets.
“A lot of this rides on what happens in Washington,” Garcetti added while discussing the city’s fiscal challenges.
But it’s not clear that the White House or Congress will answer their calls.
The furloughs were approved as President Trump warned in a memo that he would defund cities that allowed for protesting or recently cut police budgets. Los Angeles was not included in his initial memo, which targeted Washington, DC, Seattle and Portland.
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