The Indianapolis City-County Council Monday night unanimously passed the city’s $1.2 billion budget for 2019.
Some councilors praised the budget, including Democrats La Keisha Jackson and Joseph Simpson. Jackson called it "balanced and fiscally responsible," and Simpson said he appreciates the inclusion of salary increases for city employees.
Republic Minority Leader Michael McQuillen was one of a few councilors who raised issues during the vote.
"Throughout this year’s budget process I’ve been troubled at times," McQuillen said. "For example, the state return tax dollars being held back from infrastructure projects in an attempt to make a more balanced-looking budget. This coupled with the lack of a completed audit of the Sheriff’s Department gives me great pause as to how to vote."
McQuillen says he ultimately decided to vote for the budget because it funds two new recruit classes for IMPD, which represents a public safety push from Mayor Joe Hogsett's administration and some on the council, despite the fact that it is not a significant increase over last year's numbers.
Hogsett touted that section of the budget, as well as the budget's bipartisan support, in a statement sent after the vote:
"Last year, a broad bipartisan majority of the City-County Council passed the first balanced budget our city had seen in years. Tonight, thanks to the strength of our local economy and the support of the entire city-county council, we have once again passed a budget that increases neighborhood investment and prioritizes taxpayer-friendly policies over partisanship."
Hogsett also highlighted what the budget does allocate for infrastructure projects – $126 million towards road, bridge and sidewalk repairs – part of a bipartisan, long-term plan to make up for what members of both political parties view as decades of underspending.