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Houston Passes $2.5 Billion Budget For FY 2019

Council Member Jack Christie announced his resignation as chair of the City Council’s Budget and Financial Affairs Committee, citing frustration over what he characterized as the council’s reluctance to rein in spending and address long-term financial problems.

Houston has a budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins July 1. The city council approved Mayor Sylvester Turner’s $2.48 billion budget proposal, by a vote of 13 to 4. Council Members Greg Travis (District G), Mike Knox (At-Large, Position 1), Michael Kubosh (At-Large, Position 3), and Jack Christie (At-Large, Position 5) cast the opposing votes.

The vote came after a long and often bitter debate. Toward the end, Christie blasted his colleagues for not doing enough to address the city’s long-term financial problems. He then resigned as chairman of the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee. “I’m tired of being denied, tired of not being listened to, useless platitudes, false promises,” he said.

Mayor Turner returned fire. He said two-thirds of his budget went to the police and fire departments, both underfunded as it was. “Let it be very clear,” Turner said, “when you vote against this budget, you are voting against police.”

Turner’s budget closes a $114 million shortfall. But the mayor said the city will continue to face annual deficits as long as the cap on property tax revenue is in place.  

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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