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County Releases Final Fiscal Year Budget
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Stanislaus County officials have released the Recommended Final Budget for 2013-2014 which contains changes and updates to the Adopted Proposed Budget for 2013-2014 approved by the County Board of Supervisors on June 11, 2013. After approval, the final budget for 2013-2014 will serve as the official budget document for the remainder of the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

A public hearing to adopt the recommended final budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 has been scheduled for 9:05 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10 to be continued if necessary on Sept. 11 and 12 at 9 a.m.

The meeting will take place at 1010 Tenth St., Modesto, in the basement Board Chambers.

The recommended final budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 totals $1,042,987,731 in appropriations (authorized spending) which reflects a 3.2 percent increase over the 2013-2014 adopted proposed budget and a 6 percent increase over the 2012-2013 adopted final budget. Spending increases since fiscal year 2012-2013 are primarily due to significant additional federal revenue for social services programs and revenue associated with public safety realignment.

“I am pleased the financial state of our county is showing modest signs of improvement,” stated Stan Risen, Interim Chief Executive Officer for Stanislaus County. “We are committed to returning the county to financial strength through sound fiscal policy and prudent management decisions.

“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.”

The increase in appropriations since the adopted proposed budget in June is largely driven by three factors: 1) The accounting adjustment needed to reflect just under $14.8 million in cost savings from prior fiscal years; 2) $8.1 million of additional revenue in the General and Special Revenue funds related to the implementation of Phase III of the Community Corrections Partnership (AB109); 3) nearly $6 million in the Community Services Agency budgets is due to the increased federal revenue in StanWORKs programs in preparation for changes as a result of the Health Care Reform.

The county is recommending 13 new positions for a total of 3,920 allocated full-time positions in the recommended final budget. Most of the new positions are funded by new federal revenue. Also, separate from the final budget process, 10 positions have been added since the 2013-2014 adopted proposed budget was approved in June, through separate board agenda items for the Public Safety Center AB 900 Phase Two/Jail Expansion Project and for the Community Corrections Partnership Plan. 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 is unrestricted money the county is free to use for things like law enforcement, health care, parks and other services. Property tax and sales tax are two key components of discretionary revenue. Discretionary revenue is budgeted at $156 million in the final budget and is unchanged from the adopted proposed budget in June.

This number is compared to the actual historic high of $181 million in the 2007-2008 fiscal year and the seven-year low of $141 million in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

The Stanislaus County 2013-2014 recommended final budget is available for public review. It can be viewed at the Board of Supervisors office at 1010 10th St., Suite 6500 in Modesto. It is also available on the county’s website, or at any of the 13 libraries located throughout Stanislaus County, including Oakdale and Riverbank.