INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Mayor Joe Hogsett on Monday night presented a $1.2 billion budget for 2020 to the City-County Council.
Next year’s budget will be increase of about $100 million over this year. The budget is projected to put the city roughly $171,000 in the black.
“This is the third consecutive balanced budget,” the Democrat running for reelection on Nov. 3 told city councilors. “It’s a budget that builds off your hard work over these last three years.”
About 60% 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% salary increase for Indianapolis firefighters and police officers, putting starting salaries at $51,000 for both departments.
“In this way, Indianapolis and you will being taking care of the men and the women who take care of us,” Hogsett said.
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.
Councilors shared their opinions on the budget with News 8, especially the amount that could be left in the city’s pocket.
“That’s the big, million-dollar question. 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,” said Republican Mike McQuillen, the City-County Council minority leader.
Democrat Vop Osili, president of the council, 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.