Portland City Council unanimously approves $5.6 billion budget
While Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler waited to hear Wednesday afternoon if he had a big enough margin in the primary election to avoid a runoff and six more months of campaigning, there was one other thing on his plate: approval of a $5.6 billion budget.
This time, he had all the votes he needed. Portland City Council unanimously voted Wednesday to approve the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Over the two hour council session, the commissioners had their chance to introduce amendments to the budget the mayor had proposed two weeks ago. Among these changes were $50,000 to bolster security for council members, $633,200 for the Portland Street Response pilot program, and $547,000 in local cannabis tax dollars to find social equity grants.
Most amendments were smoothly incorporated into the budget. But one became a sticking point.
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly had introduced an amendment asking for the mayor to restore $147,000 funding to the Regional Arts & Culture Council, a city-funded nonprofit that provides grants for artists and other nonprofits in the region. The arts council faced a 9% cut in its funding, which they say will hamper the ability to help the arts community rebuild post-COVID.
According to Eudaly, that money was earmarked for grants to assist culturally-specific organizations.
"As a city we like to talk a lot about equality," she said. "And I personally believe that we should put our money where our mouth is."
Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can read their complete story here.
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