City Council approves $4.64 billion FY25 budget

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City Councilor Gabriela Coletta Zapata (District 1) votes with majority

BOSTON (July 1, 2024) – After months of deliberation and a 12-hour long meeting last Wednesday, Boston City Councilor Gabriela Coletta Zapata joined the majority of her colleagues in approving investments to housing, violence prevention, college and career readiness, workforce development, and basic city services for the final FY25 Operating budget. 

Initially, the Boston City Council amended the Mayor’s original $4.64B budget by $15.3M across several departments, accounting to just 0.33% of the City’s budget. Following the Council’s first of two votes on the amended budget, Mayor Michelle Wu accepted only $2M of the Boston City Council’s proposed changes and rejected $13.3M. However, the City Council was able to reallocate $5.6M across various departments as part of their final vote. The FY25 Operating budget commences July 1, 2024. Additionally, the Council approved the Boston Public Schools and the Capital budget without amendment power. 

“In the spirit of transparency and accountability, the Council used its new budgetary authority, in a fiscally responsible manner, to maximize underutilized taxpayer dollars and invest in basic city services and quality of life issues, community safety, housing, youth career and college readiness, and more” said Coletta Zapata. “Throughout this process, my colleagues and I had six years’ worth of data, trends, and projections to support the reallocations in the originally proposed amendment package. The data shows that there are millions of dollars in unspent funds and savings due to job vacancies across city departments. I, along with my colleagues, remain committed to working long-term to address job vacancies, ensure all workers are paid a living wage, and continue expanding employment opportunities.”

The final amended line items approved by the Council for the FY25 budget include:

  • $100,000 increase for trash containerization for rodent mitigation in Inspectional Services Department’s Supplies & Materials
  • $300,000 increase to support ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) parent classes across the city in Office of Immigrant Advancement Contractual Services
  • $1,000,000 increase for City Housing Vouchers in the Mayor’s Office of Housing Special Appropriations
  • $500,000 increase for Right to Counsel in the Fair Housing & Equity’s Contractual Services
  • $150,000 increase to support burial services for homicide victims in the Parks & Recreation Department Contractual Services
  • $200,000 within the Inspectional Services Department (Personnel Services) to increase overtime for pest control inspections
  • $65,000 within the Inspectional Services Department (Personnel Services) to increase Building Inspectors by 1 FTE to proactively prevent building collapses and hold short-term rentals accountable
  • $230,000 within the Inspectional Services Department (Personnel Services) to increase Plans Examiners by 2 FTE to relieve a backlog of plans.
  • $700,000 within Boston Police Department (Personnel Services) to the Boston Police Crime Lab to increase the number of lab techs and to fill the director vacancy
  • $300,000 within Boston Police Department (Equipment) to Boston Police Crime Lab to purchase new sexual assault testing equipment
  • $500,000, within Boston Public Health Commission (Special Appropriation) to the Family Justice Center to support survivors of sexual assault
  • $270,000 increase to Youth Employment & Opportunity (Contractual Services), for Youth Jobs 
  • $500,000 within the Department of Innovation & Technology (Contractual Services) to increase funding for digital equity programs to address broadband gaps related to affordability, devices, and skills especially for low-income households in Boston.

The Boston City Council commenced its budget hearings on April 22, 2024, and all hearings were led by Councilor Brian Worrel (D4), Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means. This cycle is the third time the Boston City Council can reject, reduce, pass, or amend line items (i.e., accounts such as personnel, contracted services, equipment, etc.) in the City’s Operating Budget.  

To prepare for the budget cycle, Coletta Zapata hosted listening sessions and budget town halls across the district since January to gather feedback from residents about their priorities for the fiscal year operating budget. 

Read more about the FY25 budget process here: https://www.bmrb.org/bostons-4-64b-fy25-budget-approved/ 

For additional information please contact the Office of Councilor Gabriela Coletta Zapata by phone at (617) 635-3200 or by email at elizabeth.sanchez@boston.gov