Portland council approves $5.7 billion budget
The Portland City Council approved a $5.7 billion budget for the next fiscal year on Thursday, May 13, that takes tentative steps toward a non-police approach to public safety. Early in the meeting, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty introduced an amendment that would expand the new Street Response Team citywide. The program is currently in a pilot stage, focused on the greater Lents neighborhood that assists those facing homelessness or who are in a mental health crisis.
The amendment failed with Mayor Ted Wheeler and commissioners Mingus Mapps and Dan Ryan voting against it. Commissioner Carmen Rubio supported the amendment. The pilot program will continue and be evaluated by Portland State University before the council decides whether to expand it.
"I think we can build this," said Ryan. "I also think it's important that we build on a really strong foundation."
The budget includes approximately $1 million to fully fund the pilot project. Hardesty had proposed spending $3.6 million to expand it citywide in the next fiscal year.
Other items in the budget approved by City Council:
• $3 million cut to the Portland Police Bureau
• $5.7 million to fund a citywide cleanup effort
• $6.3 million to fully fund the Joint Office of Homeless Services
• $250,000 toward a Truth and Reconciliation process to address historic wrongs committed by the police against people of color.
• A firm end date of the Independent Police Review on June 30, 2023, giving the council two years to create the police oversight board voters approved last November.
• Direction that the police provide a progress report on its Public Safety Support Specialist program, which has unarmed bureau employees respond to nonemergency calls.
The budget also includes a program to provide cleanup jobs for those experiencing homelessness.
The new budget will be reviewed again by the council on June 17 and take effect on July 1.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Jim Redden contributed to this story.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.