S.F. Mayor Edwin M. LeeSAN FRANCISCO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — S.F. Mayor Edwin M. Lee on Thursday signed San Francisco’s first-ever two-year balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2012-13 and 2013-14 after the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved it yesterday. The City’s first Two Year Budget closed a projected $263 million General Fund deficit for the coming Fiscal Year 2012-13 and $375 million deficit for Fiscal Year 2013-14.

“This two-year balanced budget invests in our people, our neighborhoods and our critical infrastructure to create jobs for our residents and expand support for public safety, small business, our schools and the social safety net in San Francisco,” said Mayor Lee. “I’m especially proud that, in an era of declining support from the State and Federal governments and amidst bitter partisan divides in Sacramento and Washington, we in San Francisco have worked together to build consensus and embrace pension, health and long-term fiscal reforms that increase our reserves and boost our economic recovery for the future. I want to thank all the members of the Board of Supervisors, especially Budget Chair Carmen Chu, as well as business, labor and community organizations, for their hard work and involvement this year to develop our first-ever two-year balanced budget.”

“This historic budget reflects our recovering San Francisco economy and our collective investment in the basic services and programs that our resident and visitors depend on,” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, who championed the 2009 ballot initiative to require a two-year budget.

“A strength of a two-year budgeting process is that it forces the City to understand the ongoing impacts of any one year’s budget decisions,” said Supervisor Carmen Chu, Chair of the Budget Committee. “In addition to balancing the local shortfall, the City had a unique challenge this year in absorbing many state and federally funded programs, such as the Redevelopment Agency and cuts to HIV/AIDS services. However, through the budget process, we were still able to make key investments to ensure public safety by funding Police Academy classes; provide economic opportunities in the City with an eye toward assisting small businesses; and preserve critical health and human services while maintaining healthy financial reserves.”

The City’s budget includes investments that ensure that people who live, work and visit San Francisco feel safe; investments that protect the social safety net and supports seniors, youth and low-income and working class families; and investments that support diverse neighborhoods, the City’s critical infrastructure and thriving commercial corridors.

The City’s balance budget is the culmination of hard work and collaboration by the City’s elected officials, residents, departments, community organizations, employees and a wide range of other stakeholders.

In a year where the State and Federal government are scaling back, protecting social safety net services is more important than ever. In the City’s budget, service reductions in the Health Department and Human Services Agency were rejected and provided full restoration of State and Federal cuts to HIV/AIDS services. In addition, the budget includes a 1.9 percent cost-of doing business increase for non-profit service providers who have not seen an adjustment for five years.

Agreements were reached with the City’s employee unions, saving the City more than $28 million, protecting City services, putting people back work 10 more days a year and enacting improvements to immediately control employee health care costs. While protecting the economic recovery, agreements also included a modest wage increase in the second year to employees who have sacrificed over the last several years.

Mayor Lee proposed a budget that puts San Franciscans back to work, doing more to strengthen job creation and continue the growth of a recovering economy. San Francisco’s unemployment rate dropped from 9.6 percent in early 2011 to 7.8 percent today. The City’s budget invests in strategies that incentivize job creation and train and place residents for the jobs of the 21st century.

The adopted budget includes $308 million in smart capital investments that are recommended as part of the City’s Ten-Year Capital Plan to improve and invest in the City’s infrastructure. Over the next two years, the City will invest in and improve water, wastewater and power infrastructure, begin implementing the Airport’s Runway Safety Area Plan, continue investing in our waterfront piers and Port facilities including the Cruise Terminal project – all putting San Franciscans back to work

The City will continue to invest in parks and open space. Mayor Lee and Board of Supervisors have proposed a $195 million bond measure for the November ballot to make parks safe, clean and inviting for everyone.

To protect public safety, the City’s budget also includes a Six-Year Police and Fire Hiring Plan that will train the next generation of San Francisco public safety personnel. Over the next six years, new police officers in addition to the civilian workforce will immediately put more police out on the streets and over the next six years, the San Francisco Police Department will reach the City Charter mandated 1,971 officers. The budget also includes hiring new firefighters and emergency medical personnel over the next six years to ensure our City’s Fire Department is appropriately staffed.