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City Council Legislative Budget Review

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Published by:

City Council

We'll be updating this page with information regarding the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Review Process.

A message from the chair

This year, Councilor Kenzie Bok, the Ways and Means Chair for the Boston City Council, released a video about this year’s FY21 budget scrutiny process, including information on how you can take part.

For more information about how you can testify, please visit our how-to guide:

Testify during a budget hearing

About the process

Creation and Approval of the Municipal Budget

The Boston City Charter lays out the responsibilities and timeline for creation and approval of the City budget. The Mayor is in charge of creating the annual City operating budget, and submitting it to the City Council no later than the second Wednesday in April of each year. The City Council is responsible for reviewing this budget proposal, and voting on it no later than the second Wednesday in June. The Mayor also submits to the Council:

  • appropriation orders for public realm improvements, and
  • authorizations for land acquisition and loan orders, which support the City’s Capital Plan.

The City’s fiscal year runs from July 1 – June 30. We are currently in FY20. The upcoming fiscal year will be FY21.

FY21 City Council Review Process

The City Council reviews the Mayor’s budget proposal for approximately six weeks. This process is run by the Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, Councilor Kenzie Bok. This year, the process will involve 20-30 public hearings, during which time the Council will hear from the departments that comprise the greatest percentage of the operating budget, as well as a few smaller departments. These hearings will also cover revolving funds and other budget-related appropriations. This year, the Council review process will also include working sessions.

All the Council hearings and working sessions will be conducted virtually via Zoom, and will be livestreamed online. The public is encouraged to watch all the hearings and working sessions via the livestream or during a rebroadcast on Comcast Channel 8, RCN Channel 82, and Verizon 1964.

While participation in working sessions is limited to Councilors only, public testimony is welcome and encouraged at the hearings. See below for the hearing calendar and ways to testify!

Schedule of Budget Hearings

Please find below the dates, times, and public notices for the budget review working sessions and hearings for Dockets #0588-0596, and companion dockets. After each event, the video and any materials or public testimony received will be posted on the public notice page.

Topic Working Session Public Hearing

Admin & Finance:  Budget Overview Presentation (incl. COVID-19 impacts so far)

N/A

Monday, April 13, at 10 a.m.

 

Revenue Overview/Assessing Department (incl. COVID-19 impacts so far)

N/A

Monday, April 13, at 12 p.m.

 

Boston Public Schools (BPS): Budget Overview Presentation (incl. DESE Report/MOA and COVID-19 impacts so far)

N/A

Tuesday, April 14, at 10 a.m.

 

BPS School Budgets

N/A

Tuesday, April 14, at 1 p.m.

 

Public Testimony: Any Questions on the City Budget?

N/A

Thursday, April 16, at 6 p.m.

 

Capital Overview/Public Facilities Department (PFD)

Thursday, April 16, at 11 a.m.

Thursday, April 23, at 10 a.m.

 

Revolving Funds: Law, Tourism, Arts & Culture

Thursday, April 16, at 11 a.m.

Thursday, April 23, at 1 p.m.

 

BPS Commitment #1 (I): Eliminate Opportunity & Achievement Gaps – Overall Alignment & Wraparound Supports

Monday, April 27, at 11 a.m.

Tuesday, May 5, at 10 a.m.

BPS Commitment #1 (II): Eliminate Opportunity & Achievement Gaps – Specialized Academic Supports

Monday, April 27, at 11 a.m.

Tuesday, May 5, at 1 p.m.

Public Works Department

Transportation Department

Tuesday, April 28, at 11 a.m.

Thursday, May 7, at 10 a.m.

Library

Boston Centers for Youth & Families

BCYF Revolving Fund

Tuesday, April 28, at 11 a.m.

Thursday, May 7, at 2 p.m.

Youth Engagement & Employment

Tuesday, April 28, at 11 a.m.

Thursday, May 7, at 4 p.m.

Department of Neighborhood Development

Wednesday, May 6, at 2 p.m.

Tuesday, May 12, at 10 a.m.

Economic Development

Boston Equity Fund

Thursday, April 30, at 11 a.m.

Tuesday, May 12, at 2 p.m.

Environment Department

Environment Revolving Fund

Conservation Commission

Wednesday, May 6, at 2 p.m.

Thursday, May 14, at 10 a.m.

Landmarks Commission

Wednesday, May 6, at 2 p.m.

Thursday, May 14, at 12 p.m.

Parks and Recreation Department

Parks Revolving Fund

Parkman Fund

Wednesday, May 6, at 2 p.m.

Thursday, May 14, at 2 p.m.

 

BPS Commitment #2: Accelerate Learning

Monday, May 11, at 11 a.m.

Tuesday, May 19, at 10 a.m.

BPS Commitment #3: Amplify All Voices

BPS Commitment #4: Expand Opportunity 

BPS Revolving Funds

Monday, May 11, at 11 a.m.

Tuesday, May 19, at 1 p.m.

Boston Police Department

BPD Revolving Funds

Boston Fire Department

Boston Emergency Medical Services

Monday, May 11, at 3 p.m.

Thursday, May 21, at 10 a.m.

Boston Public Health Commission (incl. Recovery Services)

Monday, May 11, at 3 p.m.

Thursday, May 21, at 2 p.m.

BPS Commitment #5: Cultivate Trust

BPS Commitment #6: Activate Partnerships

ESSA MOU

Wednesday, May 20, at 2 p.m.

Tuesday, May 26, at 10 a.m.

 

BPS Closing Opportunity Gaps in the context of COVID-19

Wednesday, May 20, at 2 p.m.

Tuesday, May 26, at 1 p.m.

 

BPS Public Testimony

N/A

Tuesday, May 26, at 6 p.m.

 

Department of Innovation & Technology

PEG Access Fund

Inspectional Services Department

Monday, May 18, at 11 a.m.

Thursday, May 28, at 10 a.m.

 

Boston Planning & Development Agency

Monday, May 18, at 11 a.m.

Thursday, May 28, at 2 p.m.

 

Public Testimony (All Departments)

N/A

Thursday, May 28, at 6 p.m.

Schedule of Budget Resubmittal hearings

The Council rejected the initial budget submission without prejudice on June 3, 2020. The Mayor resubmitted the budget on June 17, 2020.

Scheduled meetings

The resubmittal Dockets are #0796-0800. Prior to and for 48 hours following the resubmission, the Committee on Ways and Means can only conduct Committee Meetings, while the budget is in between docket numbers.