City Employees Divided on Budget

Paul Hogarthbyline‚ Jun. 16‚ 2009

Fight May Hurt Newsom’s Run for Governor

The Board of Supervisors will vote today to amend the Mayor’s budget – as they push alternatives to a proposal that cuts health and human services while giving cops and firefighters a raise. City workers will be out in force on both sides – with the front of City Hall hosting dueling rallies between SEIU (which represents health care workers) and the Firefighters Union. This conflict is more than what Gavin Newsom bargained for when he released his budget plan on June 1st. The Mayor had hoped to campaign for Governor by saying he balanced the San Francisco budget without raising taxes, or laying off police and firefighters. But doing so required deep cuts to health and human services (beyond what may still come from the state), prompting a backlash that may hurt his ambitions. Candidate Newsom also wants the U.S. Census Bureau to count gay couples, but his budget under-funds the City’s 2010 Census effort – which could cost San Francisco millions after he leaves office.