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Houston City Council Passes Budget For Fiscal 2016

The final budget doesn’t differ much from what the mayor proposed in May.

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Houston City Council

 

The $5.1 billion budget will provide more money for the Houston Police Department, including for its body camera program, and more dollars will be spent on employee benefits. More funding will also be used for pothole repairs.

Mayor Annise Parker says she’s happy with the end result.

“Council members found a way that I did not think put the city in danger,” she said. “It certainly made my job harder and my negotiations harder, but it didn’t impair or harm anything, so we got there.”

Only three of 60 amendments by city council members passed.

The most notable: an increase of the council district service fund. This ensures each district council member will have $1 million to use on specific projects.

Four council members — Dave Martin, C.O. Bradford, Jerry Davis and Michael Kubosh — voted against the budget.

Kubosh said he’s concerned that the council funds take away money from city employees, including firefighters. And he wants more details on the body camera program before the pledging funds for it.

“I’m not going to allow the police department to be in control of the video tapes,” Kubosh said. “It has to be a third-party vendor.”

To avoid hitting the revenue cap, the City Council earlier approved doubling the homestead exemption for seniors and the disabled.

 

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