October 12, 2020

Indianapolis City-County Council Passes 2021 Budget

Indianapolis City-County Council Passes 2021 Budget

The Indianapolis City-County Council held a full meeting Monday night and passed the 2021 budget with a unanimous vote.

Councilors have spent the past two months considering the $1.29 billion budget.  

In a written statement, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett thanked the council for its support. 

“This balanced budget prepares for an uncertain financial future while continuing to make investments that will keep our roads paved, our neighborhoods safe, and our community moving forward," Hogsett said. "This budget also focuses investments in neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19 and builds upon existing programming aimed at addressing food access, homelessness, and mental health challenges."

The budget includes more than $261 million for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Some members of the public have spoken out against the increase in funding for IMPD, asking instead for investment in community and social services.

Other large portions of the budget go towards the fire department, infrastructure improvement, courts and metropolitan development. Budgets for municipal corporations including the Indianapolis Public Library and IndyGo were also approved.

The council also passed a measure that will change the IMPD General Orders Board to include a civilian majority.

Democrat Jessica McCormick offered an amendment to the General Orders Board proposal that will allow more time for policy making. She said it’s time the board offers transparency in IMPD’s policy making process.

"The creation of this board is taking it out of the private and putting it into the public so putting the public back in public safety," McCormick said. 

Republican councilors expressed concern that police will not have enough say in the IMPD’s policy making process with a civilian majority on the board.  Councilor Micheal Paul-Hart said the proposal jeopardizes officers safety.

"I don’t wish to silence the voice of the citizens and I do promote having citizens at the table to be part of the conversations but not without an experienced majority," Hart said. 

The new board will be made up of four appointed civilians and three IMPD representatives.

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