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The San Francisco district attorney, public defender and city attorney would all get more money to spend in the coming fiscal year if the budget proposal released on Tuesday by Mayor Gavin Newsom is ultimately approved. But only District Attorney Kamala Harris would get more jobs allocated to her office. “The mayor and I are working together to find resources to rebuild the district attorney’s office, and we are making progress each year,” Harris said through a spokeswoman Tuesday. Though city officials need — for the fifth year in a row — to eliminate a projected deficit to balance the budget, the city’s fiscal outlook is a lot rosier than it was a year, or even three months, ago, Newsom said in a speech at a Richmond District park. In March, the city was still projecting a $102.4 million shortfall for the approaching fiscal year, Newsom said. But a windfall of property transfer taxes brought “$43.1 million of good news,” Newsom said. That influx knocked the deficit for the coming year to $59.3 million — not insignificant, but still substantially less than the $352 million shortfall expected at this stage last year. Though the mayor’s proposal is a significant step in deciding how the city will spend its money in the fiscal year beginning July 1, it’s far from the last word. San Francisco’s supervisors can make changes, and the final product must get their approval as well as Newsom’s, typically by mid-August. City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s budget would go up $6.7 million, to $56.9 million, under the mayor’s plan. “We have been hopeful that we would realize a modest increase to cover litigation-related expenses,” said Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for Herrera’s office. Harris, who was in the audience along with Public Defender Jeff Adachi and other city officials, would get to spend $33.4 million next year — about $2.4 million more than her current budget — under the mayor’s plan. With that money, the DA’s office says it could afford to hire eight people, including five lawyers. And the DA could create three new units — for “cold hit” DNA cases, human trafficking and environmental violations. Newsom’s planned increases for the city attorney and public defender would keep head counts pretty much the same in both offices. Though Newsom’s proposal also calls for increases in the millions for the city attorney and public defender, the mayor’s proposal indicates that the number of jobs in those offices would remain about the same. The $1.3 million hike Newsom wants to give the public defender — bringing Adachi’s budget to $18.2 million — isn’t everything the public defender had wanted. He said he’s still hoping for another $800,000, in part to let him make six new hires, including two more lawyers. “We’re still in the process of meeting with the mayor and resolving these issues.” Among the reasons he needs more money, Adachi says, is that his office is handling a lot more homicide cases. Adachi has been fairly effective as a budget lobbyist. Two years ago, his office got a raise even as the city attorney and DA suffered budget cuts. He said at the time that most of that more than $2 million bump would let him hire more employees, who would handle more cases, and lighten the load sent to private defense lawyers. The city’s spending on conflicts counsel has gone down since then, from about $8.3 million to less than $7.5 million. The court expects spending on such private defense lawyers to wind up about $340,000 over the $7 million budget this year, said San Francisco Superior Court CFO Neal Taniguchi. The mayor proposes budgeting $7.2 next year. Now Adachi is saying that without more money, his deputies will have to start sending more homicide cases to conflicts counsel due to the size of their caseloads — something he says his lawyers haven’t done in at least the past two years.

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