Hogsett Proposes Largest City Budget Ever For 2020 Fiscal Year
INDIANAPOLIS -- Mayor Joe Hogsett wants to spend $1.2 billion of your money in the city's 2020 budget.
He unveiled his blueprint for the budget to the Indianapolis City-County Council last night. It would spend about $100 million more compared to last year and would put the city in the black by about $171,000. It would also be the largest budget in the city's history.
"This is the third consecutive balanced budget," Hogsett told city councilors. "It’s a budget that builds off your hard work over these last three years."
About 60-percent of the budget is dedicated to public safety and criminal justice. Of that, $1.2 million will be set aside for body-worn cameras for police, depending on the findings of body-worn camera study being conducted by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
The plan also calls for a 2-percent bump in pay for Indianapolis firefighters and police officers, putting starting salaries at $51,000 for both departments. Another big portion of the mayor’s proposal calls for $118 million to go toward roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
"For next year, this means funding for added shifts. Gone will be the days of a single-day shift. With this budget, it will be the norm to see DPW (the Department of Public Works) out working from sunup to sundown," Hogsett said.
Some councilors are a little wary of the budget proposal. Republican minority leader Matt McQuillen is curious about how much money might be left over fromt he budget at the end of the next fiscal year.
"That’s the big, million-dollar question," McQuillen said. "Because after the budget process last year, the administration came back seven or eight times and asked for additional funding. So, we are going to be very cautious this year to make sure we ask all the right questions to look for holes in the budget to make sure we do have enough money in reserves to get everything done."
Council President Vop Osili (D) said the 2020 budget “builds on past balanced budgets and still addresses many of the concerns we have with public safety, public works, and it’s continuing to add more horsepower to that.”
The budget has to go through committee meetings before it is approved. The full council is expected to vote on the final budget in October.
(PHOTO: Indy Politics)