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City Council Sends Revised Budget to Mayor

City Council Sends Revised Budget to Mayor

Budget Passes with $22 Million in Cuts to the Baltimore Police Department

BALTIMORE, MD (Monday, June 15, 2020) -- TONIGHT,‌ ‌after‌ ‌a‌ ‌week‌ ‌of‌  hearings‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌administration’s‌ ‌proposed‌ ‌FY2021‌ ‌budget,‌ ‌the‌ ‌Baltimore‌ ‌City‌ ‌Council‌ ‌passed‌ ‌a‌ ‌revised‌ ‌budget‌ ‌at‌ ‌this‌ ‌evening’s‌ ‌Council‌ ‌meeting,‌ ‌including‌ ‌$22‌ ‌million‌ ‌in‌ ‌cuts‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌Baltimore‌ ‌Police‌ ‌Department‌ ‌budget.‌ ‌

In‌ ‌total,‌ ‌the‌ ‌City‌ ‌Council‌ ‌cut‌ ‌$22,440,107‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌Mayor's budget.‌ ‌By‌ ‌charter,‌ ‌the‌ ‌Baltimore‌ ‌City‌ ‌Council‌ ‌only‌ ‌has‌ ‌the‌ ‌authority‌ ‌to‌ ‌cut‌ ‌line‌ ‌items‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌Mayor’s‌ ‌budget.‌ ‌The‌ ‌Mayor‌ ‌has‌ ‌the‌ ‌sole‌ ‌authority‌ ‌to‌ ‌reappropriate‌ ‌those‌ ‌funds.‌ ‌ ‌

“I‌ ‌am‌ ‌proud‌ ‌to‌ ‌lead‌ ‌a‌ ‌City‌ ‌Council‌ ‌that‌ ‌has‌ ‌taken‌ ‌a‌ ‌decisive‌ ‌first‌ ‌step‌ ‌towards‌ ‌responsibly reprioritizing‌ ‌Baltimore’s‌ ‌budget.‌ ‌This‌ ‌is‌ ‌just‌ ‌a‌ ‌first‌ ‌step,‌ ‌and‌ ‌we‌ ‌must‌ ‌recognize‌ ‌we‌ ‌did‌ ‌not‌ ‌get‌ ‌here‌ ‌overnight.‌ ‌In‌ ‌order‌ ‌to‌ ‌reduce‌ ‌our‌ ‌dependence‌ ‌on‌ ‌policing,‌ ‌we‌ ‌must‌ ‌continue‌ ‌the‌ ‌work‌ ‌we‌ ‌have‌ ‌started tonight‌ ‌over‌ ‌the‌‌ ‌next‌ ‌term,”‌ ‌said‌ ‌Baltimore‌ ‌City‌ ‌Council‌ ‌President‌ ‌Brandon‌ ‌M.‌ ‌Scott.‌ ‌ ‌

Notably,‌ ‌the‌ ‌City‌ ‌Council‌ ‌cut‌ ‌millions‌ ‌of‌ ‌dollars‌ ‌in‌ ‌“unallocated‌ ‌appropriations,”‌ ‌bringing‌ ‌an‌ ‌unprecedented‌ ‌level‌ ‌of‌ ‌transparency‌ ‌and‌ ‌legislative‌ ‌oversight‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌BPD‌ ‌budget‌ ‌moving‌ ‌forward.‌ ‌For‌ ‌possible‌ ‌grant-funded‌ ‌appropriations‌ ‌that‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌cut‌ ‌in‌ ‌this‌ ‌budget,‌ ‌BPD‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌required‌ ‌to‌ ‌come‌ ‌back‌ ‌before‌ ‌the‌ ‌City‌ ‌Council‌ ‌when‌ ‌they‌ ‌receive‌ ‌state‌ ‌or‌ ‌federal‌ ‌grant‌ ‌funding. The City Council‌ ‌will‌ ‌have‌ ‌the‌ ‌opportunity‌ ‌to‌ ‌ask‌ ‌questions‌ ‌and‌ ‌ultimately‌ ‌approve‌ ‌the‌ ‌appropriation.‌ ‌ ‌

The‌ ‌Council‌ ‌President‌ ‌continued:‌ ‌‌“While‌ ‌Baltimore‌ ‌is‌ ‌still‌ ‌fighting‌ ‌through‌ ‌the‌ ‌COVID-19‌ ‌pandemic‌ ‌and‌ ‌an‌ ‌ongoing‌ ‌epidemic‌ ‌of‌ ‌gun‌ ‌violence,‌ ‌we‌ ‌are‌ ‌also‌ ‌called‌ ‌to‌ ‌action‌ ‌by‌ ‌the‌ ‌civil‌ ‌rights‌ demonstrations‌ ‌taking‌ ‌place‌ ‌here‌ ‌in‌ ‌Baltimore‌ ‌and‌ ‌across‌ ‌the‌ ‌world‌ ‌following‌ ‌George‌ ‌Floyd’s‌ ‌murder‌ ‌three‌ ‌weeks‌ ‌ago.‌ ‌ ‌Many‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌young‌ ‌people‌ ‌who‌ ‌have‌ ‌led‌ ‌non-violent‌ ‌demonstrations‌ ‌have‌ ‌also‌ demanded‌ ‌that‌ ‌we‌ ‌invest‌ ‌in‌ ‌their‌ ‌future,‌ ‌that‌ ‌we‌ ‌stop‌ ‌investing‌ ‌in‌ ‌their‌ ‌failures‌ ‌and‌ ‌instead‌ ‌invest‌ ‌in‌ ‌their‌ ‌promises.‌ ‌We‌ ‌must‌ ‌answer‌ ‌their‌ ‌call.‌ ‌

Since‌ ‌Freddie‌ ‌Gray’s‌ ‌death‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌Baltimore‌ ‌Uprising‌ ‌five‌ ‌years‌ ‌ago,‌ ‌this‌ ‌Council‌ ‌has‌ worked‌ ‌to‌ ‌transform‌ ‌the‌ ‌way‌ ‌we‌ ‌understand‌ ‌public‌ ‌safety‌ ‌--‌ ‌as‌ ‌something‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌not‌ ‌just‌ ‌about‌ ‌the‌ ‌police,‌ ‌but‌ ‌about‌ ‌how‌ ‌we‌ ‌invest‌ ‌in‌ ‌our‌ ‌communities‌ ‌and‌ ‌our‌ ‌people.‌ ‌Today‌ ‌was‌ ‌about‌ ‌starting‌ ‌the‌ ‌process‌ ‌of‌ ‌responsibly‌ ‌realigning‌ ‌and‌ ‌reallocating‌ ‌our‌ ‌public‌ ‌dollars‌ ‌from‌ ‌a‌ place of ‌dependence‌ ‌on‌ ‌policing.‌ ‌ ‌

We‌ ‌know‌ ‌we‌ ‌need‌ ‌a‌ ‌holistic‌ ‌approach‌ ‌to‌ ‌truly‌ ‌build‌ ‌public‌ ‌safety,‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌steps‌ ‌this‌ ‌City‌ ‌Council‌ ‌is‌ ‌taking‌ ‌today‌ ‌move‌ ‌us‌ ‌in‌ ‌that‌ ‌direction.‌ ‌I‌ ‌call‌ ‌on‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌residents‌ ‌who‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌streets‌ ‌and‌ ‌contacting‌ ‌their‌ ‌elected‌ ‌officials‌ ‌to‌ ‌stay‌ ‌involved.‌ ‌Your‌ ‌voice‌ ‌continues‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌needed,‌ ‌and‌ ‌I‌ ‌look‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌community‌ ‌to‌ ‌help‌ ‌drive‌ ‌this‌ ‌process.‌ ‌I‌ ‌also‌ ‌hope‌ ‌to‌ ‌see‌ ‌you‌ ‌in‌ ‌Annapolis‌ ‌as‌ ‌we‌ ‌work‌ ‌for‌ ‌local‌ ‌control‌ ‌of‌ ‌police‌ ‌and‌ ‌changes‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌Law‌ ‌Enforcement‌ ‌Officers‌ ‌Bill‌ ‌of‌ ‌Rights.‌"

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