County Approves $5.8 Billion Budget

Orange County’s county government now has a $5.8 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, after the Board of Supervisors adopted a budget earlier this week.

Bolstered by extra funding from taxes and other sources, the county expects its biggest revenue and spending increases since the Great Recession devastated local government budgets across the country.

The county planned for having more than $60 million in extra discretionary money, and about half of it was provided to two departments: the sheriff and district attorney, amid salary and benefit increases for their staff.

The budget also assumes an across-the-board 1-percent increase in employee salaries beyond what’s in existing labor contracts.

That comes as the county gears up for negotiations with its largest labor group, the Orange County Employees Association, which represents about two-thirds of the county workforce.

The county’s overall workforce is proposed to remain at roughly the same level of 18,150 budgeted employees. No layoffs are proposed, nor is an overall increase in budgeted positions.

The county’s retirement system, while still underfunded by billions of dollars, is looking healthier, according to county staff.

The unfunded liability has been shrinking more quickly than the system’s actuaries projected, and is slated to be 80 percent funded by 2020, according to Jaime Martinez of the county’s central budget office.

Also envisioned in the proposed budget are plans to finish paying off debt from the county’s 1994 bankruptcy over the next two years. So far, the county has paid $1.6 billion. 

You can contact Nick Gerda at, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

  • octaxpayer

    Yes, the BOS will never really dig into the facts to much trouble and the will never understand it anyway.. tax dollars wasted.

  • OCservant_Leader

    6 Billion Dollars – administered without a Civil Service? The Personnel Rules & Procedures have not been updated since the 1970’s. Really? The HR Director should be fired! That is insane! I believe the Grand Jury keeps addressing this issue as well.

    Without any job descriptions or (real) recruitments – organized crime can place their family in high ranking positions without any accountability.

    This only green lights:

    Theft of public assets
    Money laundering

    I am concerned that the new CEO Frank Kim recently placed his sister overseeing Healthcare Contracts – over $300 Million Dollars without a question? Really?

    I will contact the OC Fraud line and report this and maybe they will formally investigate this recruitment? Where in the rules of disbursement of public funds from the State of California does it allow the CEO political appointee to appoint his sister?

    Maybe the VofOC would like to interview the new CEO about this? If there is no recruitment – who is responsible? No one is asking these questions!

    I am frankly more concerned about the Real Estate fraud going in – but this is outrageous.

  • Lyanna Lyns

    Crooks, the lot of them.