Dozens of jobs, tens of millions of dollars would be cut in proposed county budget

Posted at 6:52 AM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 09:52:30-04

Dozens of people could be without jobs if the Kern County Board of Supervisors adopts its new budget for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Due to dropping oil prices, the county has seen revenues fall over the last few years. Because of that, the county now finds itself facing a $49.2 million deficit. 

The proposed budget facing supervisors today calls for cuts across the board. 

The hardest-hit departments would be the Kern County Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney's office, the Department of Human Services and the Kern County Fire Department. 

KCSO faces the biggest cuts. It is recommended that 10 deputies and 16 deputy trainees be laid off. The proposal also calls for the closure of the Ridgecrest Jail. 

The DA's office would see nine deputy district attorneys and two district attorney investigators laid off. 

Human Services would leave 28 positions unfilled. 

The proposal also recommends depleting the KCFD of $5.6 million in its reserve funds, cutting services throughout the department. 

After this year, the county is still projected to be in the red over the following three fiscal years. The 2017-18 fiscal year shows a $36 million deficit followed by $17 million in '18-'19 and $7 million in '19-'20.