Sacramento County department heads want about $60 million more than the county administrator is recommending in the $3.5 billion budget proposed for the coming fiscal year.
That's according to a copy of the proposed 2012-13 budget released Tuesday by County Executive Brad Hudson.
While the budget gap is smaller in this proposal than in previous years, it's the fifth straight year of budget deficits for the county.
Hudson said very few, if any, employees will be laid off under his budget. That's because the county has more than 700 positions that were funded but not filled in this year's budget.
This is the first budget for Hudson, who has been criticized for releasing his proposal weeks later than predecessors, and just days before the Board of Supervisors starts budget hearings next week.
Supervisors will have to figure out how to resolve the discrepancies between what department heads and Hudson want before approving a budget next week.
Hudson said Tuesday night that the delays on his budget proposal were the result of him working out solutions.
"I've been trying to work this over the last few weeks to try to get this into shape," Hudson said. "I wanted to fund the board's priorities and not have disruptions in employment."
As a result, he said, the budget document has already become outdated in some respects.
For instance, the budget says the Sheriff's Department is facing a $30 million gap between what Sheriff Scott Jones requested and what Hudson recommended. But the real figure is closer to $10 million because of solutions identified by Hudson and Jones, Hudson said.
Jones and District Attorney Jan Scully will determine how they want to handle the budget cuts in their departments because they're elected. Last year, they lobbied supervisors hard to reduce proposed cuts to their departments.
The District Attorney's Office is facing a deficit of about $2.2 million.
In other departments, Hudson has made recommendations to the board about how to handle cuts.
Hudson said he will recommend eliminating about 100 unfilled positions in the coming year.
The Human Assistance Department is slated to lose the most unfilled positions 23, including eight lost in the last year. The department has faced criticism from advocates for the poor because of delays in processing welfare benefits.
Hudson's budget anticipates that revenue overall will be about the same as last year. But some costs notably salaries in the Sheriff's Department and pension costs for all employees will go up.