The $3.75 billion dollar budget is nearly 4% higher than FY21. It contains no layoffs and no service cuts. The city’s Chief Financial Officer Emme Handy said that is partly because of money from the federal government.
“We are doing some really important investments in our communities, and that is through federal dollars so that we are able to maintain the sort of responsible blueprint of the FY22 budget with city of Boston revenue and city of Boston spending,” Handy said.
Mayor Janey said the proposal is centered on recovery, reopening, and renewal in the city of Boston.
“COVID-19 has brought on unprecedented economic and social change for our city, and this budget proposal meets the moment and makes targeted investments to ensure that as we emerge from this public health crisis we are not going back to normal, but going forward better than before,” Janey said.
The proposal also addresses spending at Boston schools and the police department.
Janey said the Boston Police Department’s overtime spending would be cut by $21 million, which is a 33% reduction. The city would also invest $1 million to create the newly announced Office of Police Accountability and Transparency. Also under the proposal, the city would invest $1 million for racial equity training and $2 million for more clinicians to assist during mental health calls.
"Transparency and accountability are foundational values when it comes to fostering trust. This is especially true for law enforcement," Janey said.
An overall budget of $1.29 billion would be set aside for Boston schools, with $36 million to help facilitate a safe return to school buildings amid COVID-19 recovery.
BPS is also receiving $123 million in funding from the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.
Mayor Janey is also proposing eliminating membership fees for Boston residents at all BCYF community centers.
She also wants to permanently waive late fees at the Boston Public Library, as well as invest millions for improvements at branches in Chinatown, Roslindale, Adams, and Egleston Square.
Janey is also proposing $15 million for the Percent for Art program, which is meant to fund long-term public art projects, as well as $200,000 for programming at the Strand Theater in Dorchester.
It is now up to Boston City Council to approve the budget.
(Photo: Getty Images)