Mayor Walsh's Fiscal Year 2019 budget approved by City Council
The Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget submitted by Mayor Martin J. Walsh today was unanimously approved by the Boston City Council, building on the Walsh Administration's record of presenting a balanced, sustainable and proactive budget investing in the needs of our growing city. The $3.29 billion recommended budget represents an increase of $139 million, or 4.4 percent, over the FY18 budget, and follows 28 City Council hearings that helped identify opportunities for further targeted investments and capture additional cost-savings. Mayor Walsh will sign the final budget once it reaches his desk.
In this final budget, funding for city services, such as streets, parks, public health and public safety will grow by $43 million from FY18, including $12 million in new data-driven investments, and funding for the Boston Public Schools (BPS) will grow by $51 million.
"This budget upholds our city's values and priorities, and is a reflection of our leadership position in growing a middle class through strong 21st century schools, good jobs and affordable homes in safe neighborhoods," said Mayor Walsh. "By investing in the strong foundation we've been able to achieve through strategic management of the city's finances, I am proud that with the support of the City Council, we are able to continue making record investments in advancing the prosperity of our city, our people and our collective future."
As part of Mayor Walsh's budget, he proposed to further invest in key initiatives, including:
Expanding Universal Pre-Kindergarten for over 80 new quality seats, as a result of continued advocacy at the state level that is expected to result in an increase from initial projections for Charter School reimbursement;
Doubling the Youth Development Grant Program to $500,000 to promote conflict resolution skills to musical training to athletic programming, all with a spotlight on self esteem promotion.
New funding to support the Elder Nutrition Program, to meet the demand in preventing malnutrition for seniors and backfill declining state and federal resources;
New city funded position at the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement to work on the frontlines of supporting new Bostonians, and effectively engage and serve immigrant residents and their families;
New mounted park ranger to better serve our city parks and complement the new ranger position, which is also part of the the FY19 budget;
New equity and inclusion staff for the Office of Economic Development
New funding for workplace sensitivity training that will support expanded training on racial and gender bias, sexual harassment and employee awareness.
These additional investments are made possible as a result of debt service savings realized as a result of the city's recently renewed AAA bond rating. They are also made possible through continued advocacy at the State level that has resulted in additional Charter School Reimbursement and Chapter 70 funding included in the FY2019 House and Senate budgets.
Additional investments included in the final budget that aim to affirm a commitment to progress, opportunity and innovation by investing in Boston's neighborhoods, include:
Adding new public safety personnel and equipment, including police and 20 police cadets, EMTs and firefighters to keep our residents safe and to respond to the City's increase of new residents and commuters. In addition, $2 million has been allocated towards a phase-in of police body cameras, and investments in new fire engines, fire houses and new ambulances.
Making a permanent establishment of Boston's Engagement Center, providing space for participants to connect with recovery support services and get connected with housing services offered by the City and partners.
Allocating $5 million in new revenue towards transportation projects by increasing certain parking fines that will effectively influence good driving practices and reduce congestion in high-traffic areas.
Investing in the implementation of Community Choice Aggregation and single-use bags that will lower emissions, in addition to purchasing a deployable floodwall for the East Boston Greenway to help mitigate damage related to coastal storms.
Doubling the size of the Department of Neighborhood Development down payment assistance program to $1 million, allowing dozens of middle-class families to access zero-interest loans to cover down payments.
The final budget includes the adoption of a Boston Public Schools budget of $1.112 billion, representing a $3.5 million increase over the initial proposal of $1.109 billion, a $51 million increase over FY18, and marking the largest proposed BPS budget in the city's history. The BPS budget was approved by the City Council in a 12-1 vote today. With an increase to the projection of State Charter School Reimbursement revenue, funding will be directed towards expanding universal pre-kindergarten for over 80 new quality seats in FY19. The City of Boston's allocation to BPS has increased by $175 million, or 19 percent, over the past five years.
Mayor Walsh's FY19 budget continues to invest in preserving and creating a strong middle class, and creating opportunities for all those who live in Boston. The FY19 budget supports Boston's long-term plan, Imagine Boston 2030.ABOUT IMAGINE BOSTON 2030
Imagine Boston 2030 is Boston's first citywide plan in 50 years aimed at guiding growth to support our dynamic economy and expand opportunity for all residents. The plan prioritizes inclusionary growth and puts forth a comprehensive vision to boost quality of life, equity and resilience in every neighborhood across the City. Shaped by the input of 15,000 residents who contributed their thoughts to the plan, Imagine Boston 2030 identifies five action areas to guide Boston's growth, enhancement and preservation, and is paired with a set of metrics that will evaluate progress and successes. To learn more visit, imagine.boston.gov.
For more information about the budget,visit Boston's budget website at budget.boston.gov.