BOSTON (CBS) – On Wednesday, the Boston City Council is set to vote on a revised budget that Mayor Marty Walsh said reallocates some police funds and helps the city as it faces a $65 million shortfall due to coronavirus.
But at least one councilor is already speaking out saying it doesn’t go far enough.
Walsh called it a “strong, responsible” budget, proposing to re-allocate $12 million dollars from the Boston Police Department’s overtime budget to critical programs focusing on racial equity.
If the budget is not approved, the mayor’s office is warning it could mean layoffs.
Councilor-at-large Michelle Wu said in the Boston Globe that the mayor’s new proposal makes slight changes from the pre-pandemic budget, but it doesn’t “represent the type of transformative investments that so many community members, activists, and residents are reaching out for.”
“Our budget should represent meaningful change, not empty symbolism and budgetary sleight of hand,” said Wu, adding that she will vote against it.
City Council president Kim Janey spoke earlier this week about what she believes needs to be done.
“I think there is an opportunity to do something different. We don’t want to keep nibbling around the edges. People don’t want incremental change. We need big, bold, progressive, radical change,” said Janey.
According to the Walsh’s office, Boston is facing a $65 million budget shortfall because of the toll COVID-19’s taking on the economy.
If a budget is not approved in time for the start of Fiscal Year 2021, which begins July 1, the city will move forward with essentially a month-to-month budget based on this past year’s spending.
That would mean none of the new proposals would apply, including that reallocation of the police overtime budget.
Boston’s chief financial officer says that could also mean layoffs to offset a budget deficit.