The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a $5.4 billion budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

San Diego County Administration Center in downtown San Diego. Photo courtesy San Diego County.

The plan, which takes effect July 1, ups spending by 6.1 percent over the current fiscal year, with increases set for public safety, the Health and Human Services Agency, public works, libraries and parks.

The HHSA and Public Safety Group — which includes the Sheriff’s and Probation departments and District Attorney’s Office, among others — take up the largest share of the spending at 37 percent and 31.6 percent, respectively.

The county plans to spend $2 billion on the HHSA and $1.7 billion for public safety. HHSA operations include public health, aging and independent services, behavioral health and child welfare programs.

Supervisor Dave Roberts commended county staff for allocating dollars where community members have said it’s most needed.

“County staff really listened and heard key needs including emergency response times,” Roberts said.

The county’s spending on capital expenses, which fluctuates wildly from year to year depending on when projects are ready to come off the drawing board, will climb by $55.5 million, or 66.2 percent, to $141 million.

The county, which budgets in two-year cycles, also projects spending $5.1 billion in 2016-17, according to a staff report.

— City News Service

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