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City of Houston

Mayor Turner Expedites Budget Process To Appease Credit Rating Agencies

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says he will put his 2017 budget to a city council vote on May 25.

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Mayor Sylvester Turner
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says his proposed budget will be balanced by laying off 40 city employees and eliminating 54 vacant positions.

The city of Houston faces a $160 million deficit for the fiscal year that starts in July. Two of the three major credit rating agencies recently downgraded Houston's bond rating based on the city's pension debt, property tax cap and low oil prices.

Mayor Turner wants to get on their good side again by getting the budget process done earlier this year.

"I think it sends a very strong message to the credit rating agencies that we are not having to yank every nickel and try to go through a whole lot of machinations to get it done," he said.

Turner said his proposed plan will balance the budget by laying off up to 40 city employees and eliminating 54 vacant positions.

Last year, the council voted on the budget on June 18.

Turner told council members this year he will give them a preliminary budget plan by April 15 and the finished budget on May 10.

"I am asking you to vote the budget out that I will be giving to you on May 25, a month earlier," he said.

Council members will have three days after receiving the budget to propose amendments.

After some noted that's a tight deadline, Turner promised to release it earlier, if possible, to give them more time.

 

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