Rejecting the Department of Public Healthís Contingency Budget for Fiscal Year 2003-04, and Urging the Business Community, Organized Labor and Residents, To Work With the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors To Avoid Devastating Cuts To the Countyís Health Safety Net Services

WHEREAS, the City and County of San Francisco is facing a $350 million dollar shortfall for fiscal year 2002-03, and the Mayorís Budget Office has required that the Department prepare a contingency plan which would cut the Departmentís General Fund by 10% or $27 million dollars; and,

WHEREAS, in the base budget the Department already absorbed $20 million dollars in unavoidable increases and decreased the General Fund usage of the Department by $18 million dollars; and,

WHEREAS, the base budget already made large cuts to vital health programs, including the reprogramming of the Mental Health Rehabilitation Facility (MHRF), increasing eligibility requirement for outpatient medication, reducing hospital based translation services, eliminating adult dental services, cutting important referral/education services and outpatient drop-in substance abuse services, and eliminating contracts for emotional and practical peer support; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission recognizes that the City is in a true financial emergency and that the Mayor must submit a balanced budget to the Board of Supervisors by July 1, 2003; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission strongly encourages other City Departments to do their due diligence to identify budget reductions and contribute their fair share to addressing the Cityís budget crisis; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission understands there is a proposal for City employees to pay their share of their retirement contribution to assist the City in balancing its budget; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission appreciates the Departmentís attempt to further reduce its General Fund requirements in order to comply with the instructions of the Mayorís Budget Office; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission believes that the proposed contingency cuts are counter to the Departments strategic plan and would be devastating to the safety net of San Francisco; and,
WHEREAS, the Health Commission does not believe that alternative cuts exist in the Health Department budget that would be less harmful to health services in San Francisco than those proposed in the contingency budget; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission also recognizes its own responsibility to maintain safety net health and public health services for San Franciscoís most vulnerable residents; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Health Commission finds the Department of Public Health contingency cuts unacceptable; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission rejects any further service cuts to the Department of Healthís budget beyond those detailed in the base budget; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission urges the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor to support fee and license increases for the Departmentís Environmental Health Services division so that the Department can fully recoup the costs of providing these services; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission urges the business community and the residents of San Francisco to support additional revenue enhancing measures to prevent elimination of vital health services; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission strongly urges organized labor to agree that City staff pay their portion of their own retirement or agree to other concessions that would save the City approximately $80 million dollars; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that although the Health Commission will not support any service cuts beyond those stipulated in the base budget, the Health Commission does wish for the Department to keep the Health Commission apprised on what cuts or augmentations the Mayorís Budget Office and/or the Board of Supervisors have made to the Health Departmentís fiscal year 2003-04 budget.

I hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was adopted by the San Francisco Health Commission at its meeting of April 8, 2003.

Michele Olson, Executive Secretary to the Health Commission