Fresno Mayor Lee Brand today announced that he is submitting a continuing resolution (CR) budget to City Council that would “roll over” the amended appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 into the first quarter of FY2021 to provide a bridge that would allow the City of Fresno to continue to provide essential services to the community and pay its employees until the fiscal picture becomes clearer. The Administration will submit its official documents requesting a CR to City Council for its review and approval by the end of the City’s fiscal year on June 30, 2020.
A continuing resolution is a temporary measure a legislative body can enact to fund a governmental entity for a limited amount of time. This is the first time a CR has been used for a City of Fresno budget during the 23-year history of Fresno’s strong-mayor form of government.
“The decision to propose a continuing resolution was not an easy one and was taken with a great deal of thought and consideration, with the overriding concern to minimize the impacts of this crisis on the critical services the City provides to our residents and our employees,” said Mayor Brand. “I believe this is the correct path to ensure the City of Fresno can fulfill its responsibilities, and I firmly believe that as a community we have demonstrated that we have the courage and dedication to weather this storm and emerge a better and safer city.”
The CR is necessary due to the uncertainty over the full financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the City’s operational funds, making it virtually impossible to estimate revenues for the next fiscal year around which a budget can be built. The Administration anticipates returning to City Council in the fall of 2020 with revisions that reflect actual revenue receipts and steps to address any shortfalls, with the plan that the City would conduct its traditional department-by-department budget presentations to Council at that time. That would also be the earliest the Administration and the Council should consider tapping into the City’s emergency reserve fund.
The Administration has already taken steps to mitigate the potential impact of the pandemic on City of Fresno revenues, including hiring restrictions, alternate funding sources for capital projects, and restricting all operational expenses except those that are most necessary to maintain core services or health and safety related.