Monday, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors went through their proposed $8.6 billion budget for 2023-24, which is 15% larger than the current year’s budget.
37% will go to public safety.
At the meeting, Sheriff Chad Bianco went through the more than $1 billion proposal for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, compared to last year’s $942 million.
“We’re submitting a budget that is actually $10.9 million over the CEO target,” Sheriff Bianco said. “Within that is $3.2 [million] for support services, $3 for coroner and public administrator, $1.8 for our training academy, $0.8 for court services, field ops and additional lieutenants is $1.4. Then there’s been a lot of talk recently in board meetings and leading up to this meeting about short term rentals and the issues we have throughout the county.”
Sheriff Bianco also says there is still no money in the budget to allow for the full opening of the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio, with roughly only a third of its correctional space being used.
District Attorney Mike Hestrin was also at the meeting and asked for just over $191 million with $2.5 million set aside to help hire more staff.
“The workload is overwhelming for these attorneys and we’ve got to get them some support,” Hestrin explained. “It also kind of dovetails with our efforts to retain folks. If their caseloads are over 100, which happens unfortunately, sometimes it just gets to be too much.”
Riverside County Fire Chief Bill Weiser is asking for $537 million.
$300,000 of that would go to a new County Fire Hazardous Fuel Reduction Crew which will also help remove brush and debris around people’s homes.
“First page under the EO [Executive Office] Recommendation for this year’s budget was an $11.9 million increase to cover our 6.5% increase in our MOU [memorandum of understanding] with CAL FIRE, as well as an increase of $3 million into more relief positions as we move forward,” Chief Weiser.
The budget is expected to be tentatively adopted by the end of the month with the final adoption in September.
For a full breakdown of the proposed 2023-24 budget, click here.