Jim Steinberg, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/12/2012 07:49:23 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – Facing a fiscal environment affected by shrinking revenues, public pension and salary issues and dwindling state funds, San Bernardino County Supervisors will discuss the proposed $4.06-billion 2012-13 budget for the first time at a special meeting Friday.

And the public will get a chance to sound off on that budget.

“Hopefully people will step forward and address their concerns,” said Josie Gonzales, the board’s chairwoman an 5th District supervisor.

“That will allow us to take their feedback into consideration as to where the greatest needs are.”

The board might consider adopting the budget Friday or could continue the budget discussion to June 19 and again on June 26, if necessary.

County officials say the $4.06-billion recommended budget is balanced and addresses a $91.5-million structural deficit through 2015-2016 – $33.2 million of which has been projected for the coming fiscal year.

Of the more than $4 billion budgeted, the county has true discretion over only $446.3 million while the rest is mandated and controlled by state and federal law, officials said.

The budget process continues to be affected by declining county revenues and pension, retirement and salary issues, County Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux has said.

The proposed budget plan going to supervisors on Friday includes:

concessions approved in negotiations with public safety employees 2011-12 – some $1.5 million in expenses has been eliminated.

Still needed in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, are $8.9 million in concessions from public safety employees, according to county budget documents.

The spending plan before the county supervisors Friday does not include the revisions to the state budget Gov. Jerry Brown made last month.

That revision projects a $15.7-billion state budget deficit, significantly larger than the $9.2-billion deficit projected in January.

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