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Charter Amendment LA-J
DWP Revenue Transfers and Budget Deadline
City of Los Angeles
Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required
Pass: 175,271 / 81.9% Yes votes ...... 38,705 / 18.1% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Official Information | Impartial Analysis | Arguments ||
Shall the Charter be amended to (a) require the Department of Water and Power for informational purposes to submit to the City Council by March 31 each year a preliminary budget for the ensuing fiscal year (July 1 through June 30), to be updated by May 31 with new information, and (b) establish procedures for making surplus transfers from the Power Revenue Fund to the City Reserve Fund?
The Charter does not currently require the DWP to submit its budget to Council.
The Charter provides that surplus transfers from the Power Revenue Fund be transferred to the City Reserve Fund upon approval by ordinance and consent of the DWP Board.
This measure would:
You want DWP to annually submit a preliminary budget to Council for informational purposes and establish procedures for making surplus transfers from the Power Revenue Fund to the City Reserve Fund.
A NO VOTE MEANS:
You do not want DWP to annually submit a preliminary budget to Council for informational purposes and establish procedures for making surplus transfers from the Power Revenue Fund to the City Reserve Fund.
This measure amends the Charter to require the DWP to submit its preliminary budget to the Council for informational purposes by the specified date. The measure does not grant the Council authority to approve or change the budget. Additionally, the measure establishes procedures for making surplus transfers from the Power Revenue Fund to the City.
The Mayor must submit a budget to the Council by April 20 of each year, and the Council begins deliberations on the budget shortly thereafter. This measure requires that the Board submit a preliminary budget for the upcoming fiscal year to the Council no later than March 31 of each year, in time for the Council to consider the impacts of the DWP budget on the City. By May 31, the Board must update the preliminary budget based on additional information received.
The Charter has for many years allowed transfers to be made to the City's Reserve Fund from surpluses in the Power Revenue Fund with the consent of the Board. This measure would not eliminate or expand the ability to make the transfer. Any transfer would still require consent of the Board. It would, however, specify how a Power Revenue Fund surplus is defined and establish procedures through which the Board may withhold its consent to make the transfer in whole or in part.
The amount of the transfer programmed into the City's budget is based on estimates of surpluses from the prior fiscal year. Generally, however, the transfer is not made until more than halfway through the current fiscal year. Therefore, conditions that might reduce or eliminate the transfer must be identified as early as possible in order for the City to make any required budget adjustments.
This measure requires that, by November 30 of each year, the Board be presented with audited financial statements for the prior fiscal year. Based on these financial statements and current fiscal year information, the Board must notify the Council and Mayor by December 31 that is has consented to the transfer in full, or intends to withhold its consent to make all or part of the transfer.
The measure specifies that, if the Board makes a preliminary finding that making the transfer would have a material negative impact on the DWP's financial condition in the year in which the transfer is to be made, the Board may withhold its consent to make all or part of the transfer. In that event, the Board must provide the Council and Mayor with a detailed explanation of the basis for the finding. The City Administrative Officer (CAO) shall verify the DWP's findings, and report to the Mayor and Council no later than February 28 with its findings and recommendations. The Board, after receiving the report from the CAO, must act to either amend or uphold the Board's preliminary findings.
This measure will become effective if approved by a majority of voters.
|Arguments For Charter Amendment LA-J|
VOTE YES ON J: CREATE GREATER FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AT DWP
Measure J reforms the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power ("DWP") budgeting process to better serve L.A. residents and businesses. Measure J makes a simple, common-sense change to DWP's fiscal calendar to align it with the City's fiscal calendar. This will allow the city's financial analysts to gain a clearer understanding of the DWP's finances, and DWP will have greater accountability for its budget and operations.
Measure J also requires that the DWP Board be presented with annual audited financial statements to provide greater transparency.
VOTE YES ON J: PROTECT VITAL CITY SERVICES SUCH AS POLICE AND FIRE
The City of Los Angeles relies on a portion of DWP revenue to help fund crucial services, such as police and fire. The City Council needs to know how much of this funding to expect from DWP before it creates the City General Fund budget.
Measure J requires DWP to submit its budget before the General Fund budget is completed. This will allow the City Council to create a more accurate budget. It will help avoid problems, such as when DWP unexpectedly withheld these funds in 2009, creating great fiscal uncertainty and threatening the city's credit rating.
VOTE YES ON J: IMPROVE ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY AT DWP
Join us in supporting Measure J to hold the DWP accountable to its customers.
BERNARD C. PARKS
(No arguments against Charter Amendment LA-J were submitted)