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County officials claim program cuts necessary to balance increased wages, benefits

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At a public hearing Tuesday to get input on the county’s 2019-2020 recommended budget, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will get a report that says sharp wage and benefit increases, coupled with static state and federal funding, will “challenge the county’s ability to deliver essential services” to county residents.

The tentative recommended 2019-2020 budget is $3.698 billion, a 3.4-percent increase over 2018-2019.

A budget report from County Administrator David Twa says general-purpose revenue subsidies to the county hospital in Martinez have again begun to have an impact on providing other county services. That, combined with static or uncertain state funding, gives cause for concern.

“We can expect reduced funding available for programs in the foreseeable future, and this will necessitate cuts throughout the county’s program areas,” the report says.

The plan is to have an overall 2019-2020 recommended county budget ready for the supervisors to approve at their May 7 meeting. Tuesday’s Contra Costa Board of Supervisors meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. on the first floor of the county’s administration building at 651 Pine St. in downtown Martinez.

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