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Grappling with a budget gap

After three days of chaotic hearings on a mounting budget shortfall, the Los Angeles City Council took the following actions Wednesday on a plan to rescue the city from insolvency: * Postponed for a month a vote to eliminate 1,000 city jobs. * Instructed agency heads to identify 1,000 positions that could be cut. * Created a special task force to review potential layoffs and other cuts to the police and fire departments. * Postponed consideration of proposals to eliminate the departments of disability, environmental affairs and human services. * Postponed action on a recommendation to eliminate future city grants for the arts and cultural events. * Postponed action on diverting to the general fund a special hotel room tax for funding the arts. * Agreed to cap a program that pays 100% of city trash and recycling fees for low-income seniors and disabled residents and to begin reducing that subsidy next year. * After all council actions, budget officials said the shortfall actually increased by $4 million, from $208 million to $212 million. Source: Times reporting


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