Houston City Council approves $4.8 billion budget

From an article on ABC13.com, by Keaton Fox, May 31, 2018:

Houston's nearly $5 billion budget for fiscal year 2019 was approved by the Houston City Council after nearly six hours of discussion.

Four council members voted against the budget on Wednesday, including Councilmembers Mike Knox, Jack Christie, Michael Kubosh and Greg Travis.

The budget closes a $114 million deficit and does so by not cutting jobs or major city services. It also fully funds employee pensions and doesn't include sales of city real estate.

Using one-time funds from special accounts and a lawsuit settlement, Mayor Sylvester Turner balanced the budget, but did it in a way that some council members and Controller Chris Brown had concerns with.

The lack of a "structurally balanced budget," a phrase uttered consistently over the budget discussion period, will be problematic over the coming years. That is when incoming revenue matches spending.

In Houston's case, spending outpaces income. To make up for it, money comes from other accounts and sources.

One of the council's most fiscally conservative figures, at-large council member Christie, accused other council members of not having a spine for not standing up for stiffer cuts to help balance the budget. He said promises made about cutting extraneous spending have never been made good on.

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