RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond City Council unanimously approved a new biennial budget for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal year.
The adopted budget is highlighted by $150 million for construction of Richmond Public Schools and $3.4 million for pay raises for both city police officers and firefighters.
“This is a values-based, fiscally responsible plan that invests in and improves upon our targeted priorities: core services, public safety, poverty mitigation and education,” said Mayor Stoney.
Stoney said he was particularly proud of the roughly $40 million dedicated toward meeting the needs of the whole child through investments in the Office of Community Wealth Building, Human Resources, Social Services, Parks and Recreation and the Richmond Public Library System.
“I thank Richmond City Council for their hard work and due diligence in meeting our shared responsibility to provide our residents with the strong financial management they expect and deserve, and for approving a plan that sets us on a sound fiscal path for continued growth and future success,” the mayor added.
Mayor Stoney thanked council members for not making cuts to his budget priorities.
“We proposed a thoughtful but lean budget – many of our departments will have to do more with less, but I am confident they will be up to the task,” said the mayor.
The 2019 budget takes effect July 1 of this year.
Here are few of the highlights from the adopted budget:
- $150 million for Richmond Public Schools construction
- More than $1.2 million for after school programs and student support services at Richmond elementary and middle schools
- $1 million to pave an additional 20 lane miles of neighborhood streets
- More than $630,000 to extend hours of operation at six Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facility sites throughout the city
- Free bus passes for every Richmond public high school student
- More than a $250,000 increase in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund
- A reduction in the water rate for single family residential customers
- A $733,000 increase for the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority
- Four weeks of paid maternity leave for birth mothers and four weeks of paid parental bonding leave for the birth/adoption of a child (City of Richmond employees) and 2 weeks of leave to care for a sick parent
- A one percent salary increase for non-sworn, non-constitutional officer employees effective January of 2019
- Reinvestment of $12.5 million in Richmond Public Schools
- $3.4 million to further the FY2018 step based, pay raises for both sworn police and firefighters
- New Richmond Police Department positions to serve public housing communities