Richmond City Council approves budget, controversial amendment

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond City Council on Monday approved their budget and a controversial amendment.

The amendment requires that all money transfers to be approved and voted on by council members, who said this is to ensure that money is being spent on what taxpayers want.

Mayor Levar Stoney, who campaigned on making government more responsive and efficient, worries this process will slow things down.

“Tonight’s vote takes micromanaging to a new level.  It will make city government less efficient and make it harder to deliver the services our residents deserve,” Stoney said in a release. “I’m disappointed Council did not even consider my proposal to increase transparency without gumming up City Hall.

“There is a reason no other locality in the Commonwealth of Virginia follows this type of budgeting practice – it’s bad policy,” Stoney added. “Richmond deserved better tonight.”

“Richmond deserved better tonight.” — Mayor Stoney.

Mayor Stoney first proposed a balanced budget of $681 million. Members agreed to use $2.7 million to fund pay increases for police and firefighters but were struggling to agree on how to fund the increase.

After deliberating for 18 hours, city council sent the budget back to Stoney’s office for recommendations to cut more than $1 million and balance the budget.

The mayor’s office made three recommendations and council approved two of them, and agreed to make adjustments to the third.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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