Texas law requires cities to operate on a balanced budget each year.
Mayor Annise Parker released her proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 back in May, so Houston councilmembers have had plenty of time to come up with their own suggestions on how to spend the city’s $4.54 billion coffer.
Councilmembers can submit amendments for pet projects in their own districts, as well as suggested fees or revenues citywide.
This is Mayor Parker’s Spokesperson Janice Evans:
“What the administration does then in the next week is take a look at each one of those amendments, determine whether there’s any sort of budgetary impact that we cannot accomodate. Let’s say somebody comes forward and wants to increase staffing levels by a certain amount and the budget can’t accomodate that because we simply don’t have the revenue to do it. Then the administration will take a position and send that information to city council with an explanation for that position.”
Evans says unlike the last two budget cycles, this proposal has no service cuts or layoffs included.
“So we will not be having to consider whether or not swimming pools will be open this year or whether we have to reduce library hours or make any changes in our public safety services.”
Evans says the budget, as amended, will be presented to city council next Wednesday with plans to pass it by the end