Portland city commissioners approve budget for next year - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland city commissioners approve budget for next year

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Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (KPTV) Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (KPTV)

Portland city commissioners approved the proposed budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year on Wednesday, which is expected to be formally adopted June 8.

During Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Ted Wheeler and city commissioners discussed various amendments to the $602 million dollar general fund, which is one part of the city’s total budget.

More than half goes to public safety, including police and fire services.

Specific plans include adding a victim advocate to the Sex Crimes Unit and launching a pilot program for community service officers, allowing patrol officers more time for proactive policing.

But with a budget shortfall other services may be on the chopping block, including the Mounted Patrol Unit and the Dive Rescue Team.

Other priorities in the budget include resources to rebuild transportation infrastructure, address homelessness and provide affordable housing.

In a statement issued after Wednesday’s meeting, Mayor Ted Wheeler said:

The council approved an initial investment of $50 million in critical infrastructure that will grow to $600 million over 20 years. We approved a $25 million investment in the Joint Office of Homelessness Services to provide rent assistance, shelter, and housing placement. We've increased funding to minimize the impacts of homelessness and they relate to public health, safety, and livability. And we've invested in coordinated efforts to promote workforce development to ensure Portlanders are prepared for the high-skill, high-wage jobs that will define our economy.

The Mayor and Commissioners also approved nearly $1 million for low-income high school students to get bus passes.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz also spearheaded an amendment to provide more tax revenue from recreational marijuana to Vision Zero, the city’s program to reduce and eliminate deadly traffic crashes.

“What I’m suggesting is that since Vision Zero is very dear to three of us, with Commissioner Fish’s mother, Commissioner Eudaly’s father and my husband having died in traffic crashes, the urgency of Vision Zero is now,” she said Wednesday.

To see line-by-line budget allocations, go to sites 1, 2 and 3.  

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