The coronavirus pandemic caused personal and fiscal hardships for many of us. Fortunately, the City of Houston will avoid a massive budget shortfall thanks to more than $600 million in State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
But for the dollars being made available by Congress and the President, there would have been major budgetary cuts and layoffs. Without this needed influx of federal funds, the city would have had to close a $201 million budget gap in fiscal year 2021-2022.
The ARPA funds are helping protect the salaries of our first responders, including police, EMS, health, and solid waste workers who continued to work every day and are critical to our struggle with COVID-19. And yes, finally, we were able to give our firefighters an 18 percent raise over the next three years.
The overall budget for this fiscal year will represent a five percent increase over last year. Most of the federal funds will go to replace revenues lost due to COVID-19 and associated drops in sales tax collection in the General Fund, but we expect to have a small amount left over for some priority projects outlined on this website.
Unfortunately, the pandemic still has not run its course. We'll continue to be mindful next year, and the year after next, because we will still be impacted by the coronavirus and there will still be impacts on our tax revenue. The Biden Administration recognizes this as well, so the Fiscal Recovery Funds will be distributed in two tranches. The first tranche of $303.8 million was received in May. The second tranche of $303.8 million will be delivered in May of 2022.
This site will help provide transparency on how, together with City Council, the City of Houston looks to recover. With your help, we will come back from the coronavirus pandemic stronger than ever.
The city on Wednesday awarded a contract worth more than $7 million to an environmental clean-up company to remove trash, wash and sanitize homeless encampments around Houston, a task city workers have carried out since the beginning of the pandemic. ...
Roughly four months after Houston rolled out a now $52 million initiative to reduce crime, a slew of changes have been implemented in the city to bring the program to fruition. Known as One Safe Houston, the initiative launched in early February and is a direct response to a rise in homicides in Houston over the past two years, culminating with 47 murders in January, a 38% increase from January of the previous year. ...
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Police Chief Troy Finner are set to meet with President Joe Biden on Friday as the White House touts efforts to use COVID stimulus money to crack down on violent crime. Turner and Finner are expected to be among a group of elected officials and police chiefs visiting Biden to talk about how they have used American Rescue Plan funding to boost public safety programs. ...
Reimagining Public Safety in the COVID-19 Era. Mayor Turner's comments begin just after 1h58m ...