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City Council Passes $8.6B Budget Plan To Boost Public Safety

LOS ANGELES ( — The Los Angeles City Council has approved an $8.6 billion budget for the coming fiscal year that boosts funding for public safety and other services, according to reports Thursday.

The 2015-16 budget includes a projected $5.39 billion in revenues, with increased revenue coming from the city's property tax, business and sales taxes, and more, officials said.

Under the plan from Mayor Eric Garcetti, the city will have a $313 million in reserves - the highest in city history - and another $92 million "Budget Stabilization Fund", according to officials.

About $55 million is expected to go to the Los Angeles Fire Department to hire roughly 270 new firefighters and another $70 million will go towards funding overtime pay for LAPD officers, according to data from City Councilmember Paul Krekorian's office.

Garcetti's allocations for public safety were also mostly preerved in the adopted budget, which includes funding for in-car digital cameras at more police department divisions, an additional $5.5 million for the city's anti-gang program and $567,000 to expand a domestic abuse response program to all police stations.

In a statement, Garcetti credited an "unprecedented partnership between the Mayor's office and the City Council" for the budget's passage.

"I want to thank the City Council for working with me to pass a back to basics budget that is balanced, sets our reserve fund at a record high, and makes the prudent investments we need for more services, infrastructure and jobs in Los Angeles," said Garcetti in a statement.

The budget will also provide $10 million more in funding for affordable housing, new programs for homeless veterans, and restore funding for domestic violence shelters, AIDS and disability programs, youth programs, family help centers, senior and caregiver programs and day laborer sites throughout the city.

Krekorian, who also serves as the Budget and Finance Committee chair, called it the "best budget we've had in years."

"We experienced significant growth, maintained and even added neighborhood services, and established the largest rainy day fund in the city's history," he said. "This is the best budget we've had in years and it is because of responsible budgeting that will protect our city for years to come."

The adopted budget keeps Garcetti's proposal to spend $9.1 million for cleaning streets and alleys and placing another 1,200 trash cans around the city. Another $1 million will also be spent maintaining more park restrooms and increasing the tree-trimming budget by 50 percent.

The budget is set to return to the City Council for a final vote next week.

The fiscal year begins July 1.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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