Metro Council unanimously approves billion-dollar budget for 2023
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Metro Council unanimously approved the mayor’s proposed $1.08 billion budget for 2023.
The decision came at a special meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
“Our budget is a document that highlights the concerns of our taxpayers and our citizens,” Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said.
The spending plan is roughly 5% bigger than the year before and includes a 13% pay raise for law enforcement, public safety investments and more money for drainage improvements.
$5 million will also go towards funding the city-parish’s stormwater drainage system.
“This budget will make significant steps and make a demonstrative impact, if you will, on the quality of life for our citizens,” Broome said.
The unanimous approval comes even after one council member shared doubts about the plan last month.
“The budget is one part, execution is another,” Councilwoman Chauna Banks said.
In a statement in November, Banks said, “I feel extremely hopeless regarding any budget that the Mayor presents for 2023.”
After weeks of meetings and presentations, Banks changed course and is now on board with the plan.
She said it’s now up to the council and city leadership to follow through.
“We owe it to our constituents that what we approved today, actually comes to pass,” Banks said.
Many have called the city’s leadership into question after a botched rollout of a proposed stormwater utility fee in October. Mayor Broome said any concerns about the plan in place can be found online.”Every dollar that is spent in city-parish government is online, and our citizens can see that,” Banks said. Their goal is to maintain that trust and properly lead the city into the new year.
”Our overall goal is to look out for the citizens of this city and parish to make sure that they have the quality of life that they deserve as taxpayers in this community,” Banks said.
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