As soon as it was known that San Francisco had a surplus of $415 million, Mayor London Breed suggested that some of it go to begin solving the homeless crisis.
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Even before that, Mayor Breed was selling her ideas of expanding mental health services.
"A first-in-the-nation program to bring treatment directly to people suffering from addiction on our streets," said Breed back in August.
Happening Now: Teacher rally at @SFCity_Hall calling for a fair share of the city’s $185 million-dollar discretionary surplus fund. @MattHaneySF @HillaryRonen @SandraLeeFewer @UESF pic.twitter.com/bj4bVZqKFo— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) January 30, 2019
Here's the breakdown:
Much of that $415 million surplus, $230 million, will go to fund libraries, buses, the city's rainy day fund, etc. -- they're called set-asides.
That leaves $185 million for any other needs -- basically it's up for grabs.
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On Tuesday, homeless advocates made the rounds at city hall to push for that funding.
"We're asking for 170 million for homelessness, housing, prevention and shelter and mental health treatment," explained Jennifer Friedenbach, a homeless advocate.
But the city passed Prop C, the homeless tax that would raise $300 million a year by taxing big companies, right? Except that it now is stuck in court.
Voters also approved Prop G, giving San Francisco teachers a guaranteed 7 percent raise every year. But that too is held up in court. The school district and the teachers union are now asking city hall to use some of that surplus money to cover them.
"We're not competing with them, we believe everybody needs their fair share but we also know this lawsuit could take a couple of years," said Susan Solomon of the San Francisco Educators Association.
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Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer is co-authoring a measure offering $13.5 million this year and next year to cover those raises promised in Prop G, but nothing else within that proposition like extra money for technology and the district's rainy day fund will be covered.
"I am not going to throw them under the bus. What they need now is bridge money in this funding," said Fewer.
But Supervisor Hillary Ronen will ask for additional funds to cover more of Prop G.
"I don't think that's enough and that's something that I will be voicing at the Board of Supervisors," said Ronen.
That proposal requires six votes to pass.
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