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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced plans to furlough thousands of city workers

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced plans to furlough thousands of city workers for 26 days out of the next fiscal year as one of several measures to help balance the budget amid the COVID-19 pandemic during his State of the City address on Sunday evening.

The furloughs will affect all civilian employees and will be equivalent to a 10% reduction in pay and will take effect July 1, the mayor said. A hiring freeze already put in place will remain in effect, as well.

“I do not take that step lightly. I know every day we’re Los Angeles News down even one person is a loss to our city, and it’s my priority to reduce the number of furlough days as soon as possible,” he said.

The address was largely dominated by the ongoing battle against COVID-19, and its devastating affects on the city’s people and economy.

Despite entering the crisis with record reserves, the city’s current financial outlook is dire, Garcetti said. The current situation will be more severe than the recession of 2008, he said.

“There’s no way to sugarcoat this: This is bigger, and it will hurt more,” Garcetti said. “Our city revenues have plummeted. Hotel reservations have collapsed.”

“From a fiscal perspective, this is the worst it’s ever been,” he said. “We’ve borrowed $70 million to date from our special funds and our reserve fund to front the costs related to our COVID-19 response.”

While some of the money will likely be reimbursed by the state Press Release Distribution Service Los Angeles and federal governments, “some may not,” the mayor said. “But under no circumstance was I going to save pennies and lose lives.”

The goals of preserving life and boosting the economy go hand-in-hand, Garcetti said.

“The only way to save our economy is to save lives, and the only way we can save lives is by clearing a path to safely reopen our economy,” he said.

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