October 14, 2019

Indianapolis City-County Council Passes 2020 City Budget

The Indianapolis City-County Council passed the 2020 City Budget 22-2. - Darian Benson/WFYI

The Indianapolis City-County Council passed the 2020 City Budget 22-2.

Darian Benson/WFYI

The Indianapolis City-County Council Monday night passed the 2020 City Budget 22-2.

Mayor Joe Hogsett introduced the budget in August. Republicans Minority Leader Michael McQuillen and District 25’s Brian Mowery voted against it. Democrat Christine Scales was absent due to illness.

The $1.2 billion budget includes increased funding for the Indianapolis police and fire departments, money allocated to add an additional shift for the Department of Public Works and $500,000 for food insecurity initiatives.

District 2’s Colleen Fanning highlighted several aspects of the new budget. 

“There are many other things about this budget that I am excited to support,” Fanning says. “Public safety being the lion’s share of our city’s funding, I feel really good about the direction of IFD with their new training facility and IMPD is moving toward some big steps that we need to do in terms of personnel addition.”

IMPD funding includes money for a new body camera program, increased wages and more officers

The 2019 balanced budget passed the council unanimously. But this year, prior to the vote, Mowery said he was hesitant to believe the 2020 balanced budget is truly balanced, after unbudgeted financial requests this year.

“The fact that we were asked for $57 million more this past year for things that could have been forecasted leaves me uneasy with this budget being honestly and truly balanced,” Mowery says.

On example of an unbudgeted request was $822,000 for new vehicles for the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services. 

But Majority Leader Maggie Lewis asked counselors to focus more on positives than potential surprises.

“This is the fifth time getting a credit upgrade, this is the third balanced budget and there are no tax increases in this budget,” Lewis says.

Following the passing of the budget, Hogsett released a statement praising the council on its work with the budget.

“Tonight’s bipartisan vote is the latest confirmation that our city is best served when we prioritize taxpayer friendly policies and neighborhood investments over political games and partisan politics,” Hogsett said in the statement.

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