FY20 budget priorities update

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Leslie Pool
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:22 pm

FY20 budget priorities update

Post by Leslie Pool » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:29 pm

Colleagues, I’d like to provide an update to my earlier post on the upcoming city budget, and to the priorities I laid out for investment in our community’s needs.

After reviewing the City Manager’s well-crafted budget, I am very supportive of the focus on the needs of those experiencing homelessness, especially the inclusion of ongoing funding for our homeless youth – something I have advocated for in the past two budgets – and the increased dollars for people with disabilities. I also look forward to supporting other colleagues’ initiatives such as funding for mental health services and women’s healthcare, including abortion support services. I am receptive to the request from our EMS representatives for 10 Community Health Paramedics (CHP) trained to interact with those experiencing a mental crisis, and I want to delve into how this request aligns with, or differs from, what the Meadows Foundation is recommending for our police department.

With the release of the FY20 budget, and following multiple conversations with the community, I am adjusting my budget amendments and directions to reflect the document and those conversations. I remain committed to shoring up important investments in our workforce, our youth, our natural resources, implementing improvements for our community with differing abilities, and building on successful programs for people experiencing homelessness.

On two of these items, I am working closely with other offices: with CM Kitchen on Workforce First program funding amendments, and with CM Alter on funding for Austin’s Natural Preserves System to ensure better wildfire safety and sustainability.

Included in this list are links to detailed information for many of these items.

Innovations and Ongoing Investment in our Adults and Youth Experiencing Homelessness
• $850,000 in ongoing funds for the Workforce First program to increase their crews to a total of four, working with Parks & Recreation, Watershed Protection Department, and Animal Services: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 125456.pdf
• $160,000 in now ongoing funding for Youth Homelessness to leverage federal dollars for Lifeworks’ rapid rehousing and services programs. The program is demonstrably effective; we will now be investing dollars on an ongoing basis: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 125536.pdf

Workforce and Affordable Child Care Investment:
• $800,000 to provide a 3% cost of living pay increase for City of Austin workers. The Budget Office will provide additional information on a pay increase for City of Austin utilities employees.
• $100,000 increase to Capital IDEA’s contract to provide workforce training for a total of $2.5 million: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 124950.pdf
• $503,250 investment of ongoing and one-time funds to provide affordable child care for 132 more children at city recreation centers: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 125239.pdf
Increased Programming and Improvements for People with Disabilities:
• $575,000 in ongoing funding to provide additional youth, teen, and adult programming at city recreation centers for people with differing abilities.
• Regular training and guidance for City Hall facilities staff to provide consistent and prompt assistance for people with disabilities seeking access to public areas of City Hall; City Manager to explore the feasibility of installing automatic door buttons to the interior and exterior of the Boards and Commissions room and other public work rooms to ensure equitable access for all: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 125101.pdf
• Include plans to locate, design, and fund an accessible bathroom for teens and adults with disabilities in the ongoing Zilker Park Master Plan: (See link above.)

Protecting our Natural Resources:
• $220,000 one-time investment in Austin’s Natural Preserves System for a much-needed master plan and infrastructure improvements to improve access and education: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 125319.pdf
• $95,000 to fund an Environmental Manager overseeing the Natural Preserves System and implementing wildfire safety measures and infrastructure improvements. (See link above.)

Support & Promotion of Small Business Cooperatives:
• $75,000 to fund a Small Business Cooperatives pilot program in the Economic Development Department’s FY20 operating budget to provide technical support and promotion for existing and new worker cooperatives: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 125420.pdf

I look forward to our upcoming budget discussions and to working with my colleagues on these amendments and directions.
Best regards,

Leslie Pool
Council Member, District 7