Boston City Council sends Wu amended budget that includes $13 million cut to BPD
Mayor Michelle Wu rejected a $10 million cut to the police overtime budget proposed by City Council, writing to councilors Monday that the move would create an unstable financial plan and position the city to repeat a pattern of excessive spending.
“As we all know, due to state laws that require payment for all public safety overtime worked – regardless of the size of a budget item – this would require the city to repeat the pattern over multiple years of overspending on this line. article and draw on necessary reserves from other areas to cover this,” Wu wrote to advisers in a letter attached to his returned budget proposal.
“Therefore, I cannot include a fake budget cut that would create unpredictability elsewhere,” Wu continued. “We will continue to work through leadership, organizational improvements and collective bargaining to limit overtime ( expenses).”
Last week, the city council used its new power to modify Wu’s proposed budget items to return an amended operating budget of $3.99 billion for fiscal year 2023. Previously, the council could only approve or reject a mayor’s budget proposal.
The council’s proposal included a $13 million cut in police spending, with the vast majority coming from overtime funding. The proposal would redirect that money to other city initiatives, such as youth employment programs.
Wu, however, in her letter said that in “recognition of the City Council’s unanimous advocacy and intent,” she will seek to cut the police budget by $1.2 million.
Of that total, $1 million comes from the department’s payroll budget — savings from delaying the next class of recruits by two months and a $200,000 cut to the department’s capital budget, according to the letter.
“Should net state revenues be higher than currently budgeted over the next few months as the state budget is finalized, it will be a top priority to restore and accelerate our recruit class,” he said. writes Wu.
Wu also approved a few of the board’s amendments, although for some Wu narrowed the scope.
“This returned budget responds to City Council’s advocacy and legislative intent, while recognizing the importance of fiscal stability,” Wu wrote. “Many proposed changes were accepted, although most at reduced amounts. in recognition of existing resources or anticipated start-up schedule.”
Once it officially receives Wu’s proposal this week, the city council can accept Wu’s changes or vote to override the mayor’s veto with a required 9-13 majority. Councilors will likely vote later this month- this.
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