Boston City Council votes to pass $3.9 billion budget


An effort to cut the Boston Police Department’s budget was one vote away from passing.

Tania Fernandes Anderson, Boston City Councilwoman. Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe

The Boston City Council made use of its new budget authority powers on Wednesday, partially reversing some of the budget allocations requested by Mayor Michelle Wu, but keeping its proposed $3.99 billion operating budget largely intact. dollars.

The board voted unanimously to cut $1.5 million from the Boston Fire Department’s $279 million budget, as well as several hundred thousand dollars from the legal department and budget and technology accounts. In turn, this money will fund a wide variety of initiatives and programs, including for the Office of Black Male Advancement, housing vouchers, youth employment programs, and services for those recently incarcerated. .

The fire department cuts came from funds the department told councilors had not been used, according to ways and means committee chairwoman Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson.

“It shows our commitment to this city, to city services that have been underfunded and underinvested and to really doing the work of building a more equitable city,” Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune said.

Although this list of allocations was adopted, the councilors ultimately rejected two other lots originally requested by Fernandes Anderson, namely a reduction of $ 13 million from the budget of the Boston Police Department to fund other initiatives and programs. similar to the city.

Councilors, in their first budget pass just weeks ago, previously backed the heavy cut that largely took cuts to the department’s overtime budget.

But Wu, returning the board’s budget amendments earlier this month, rejected the move, arguing the reallocation would lead to an unstable financial plan and repeat a pattern of overspending. And because the law says the city covers any overtime pay, Wu said the amendment was essentially a “fake reduction.”

Wu, instead, proposed cutting the police budget by $1.2 million.

Fernandes Anderson, at Wednesday’s council meeting, initially sought to overrule Wu, but Councilwoman Kendra Lara proposed an amendment to spare police overtime funds and cut the department’s budget by $2.4 million. dollars — a compromise that Lara says would also ensure the city enters the 2023 fiscal year on schedule when it begins on Friday.

That funding would have been spent on more support for youth jobs programs, but the 8-5 vote was a support vote short of the required two-thirds majority needed for a waiver.

Those who voted in opposition were Councilors Frank Baker, Kenzie Bok, Michael Flaherty, Ed Flynn and Erin Murphy. With that, the operating budget has passed and will take effect this week.

But Wednesday’s marathon meeting also illustrated how the board was still getting to grips with its new budget capabilities.

Last fall, voters chose to give council the power to alter budget items proposed by the mayor. Previously, the council could only approve or reject a mayor’s budget proposal.

Several times during Wednesday’s meeting, advisers stopped for breaks as they worked out how to proceed under the new rules.

Fernandes Anderson, as she presented her budget recommendations, thanked some of her colleagues for their support in navigating the process, but hinted at tensions with a few fellow advisers.

“I would like to thank my colleagues on the board who were respectful, supportive, kind and didn’t give me so much trouble,” she said. “But I encourage those who gave me a hard time and who were rude, and who weren’t very nice to me, because in (these) growing pains in this new process, we have to eliminate some of our own shortcomings in order to come together and understand how to move forward in a better process.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button