City council approves Lansing’s spending plan for fiscal year 2021-22

LANSING – The city council approved a $ 237 million spending plan on Monday evening for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The spending plan is now going back to Mayor Andy Schor for signature, but he still has the option to veto parts of the budget. It would take six out of eight council members to lift a veto.

Here are highlights of how council members want to spend money.

Fed bailout to support pandemic losses

Lansing’s total budget will increase by just over 1% compared to the current fiscal year.

However, the general fund will grow 10% to about $ 151 million, largely due to federal bailouts that offset pandemic-related losses, including the impact on income tax and parking revenues in the general fund.

More: Michigan local governments returned $ 432,000 in federal incentives last year

Lansing expects to receive $ 54 million from the American Rescue Plan in two installments. This money cannot be used to pay for unfinanced pension and retiree health costs. City officials are projected to hit nearly $ 907 million over the next few decades, according to a recent actuarial analysis.

Retiree payments totaling $ 60 million will consume about 26% of the upcoming budget.

Connected: Schor is asking for a Lansing budget of $ 227 million in light of the uncertainty surrounding pandemics

$ 20,000 to go to eradication clinics

Prosecutors will receive $ 20,000 to operate clinics where individuals can request that criminal records be removed from the public after approval of a proposal from Council Chairman Peter Spadafore.

A nationwide “Clean Slate Act” went into effect last month that expanded the number and types of criminal convictions that people can seek. The offenses that can be eliminated include offenses and misdemeanors, although there are some limits and conditions.

Lansing will redistribute money from the Sister Cities program to fund clinics four times a year, Spadafore said, noting that the Sisters Cities program relied on private fundraising over the past year. Sister cities, in which delegations between cities often take part, are intended to promote international cooperation.

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The Council will have the final say on the issue of the Racial Justice Fund

Mayor Andy Schor suggested donating $ 300,000 to an Equity Committee that will implement a plan to be released later this year by an Alliance for Racial Justice and Justice. The mayor appointed members of the task force last summer following protests against racism and police brutality across the city, according to Schor’s proposal, at least $ 144,000 of that money would be used for training, and $ 76,000 for creating a mapping tool to depict disparities and demographics Features and $ 10,000 for a consultant.

More: COVID-19 has cost cities millions in income taxes. The Whitmer Plan would help make up for the loss.

Some councilors asked if residents would get direct benefit from spending such a large amount on training, saying that parishioners need more opportunities to deliberate. Instead, at the suggestion of Councilor Carol Wood, the $ 300,000 placed in a racial justice contingency account cannot be allocated until a majority of the council approves spending.

A separate Racial Justice Fund of US $ 135,000 will be used to provide grants to local organizations that “address the root causes of racism and promote racial justice”.

Contact reporter Sarah Lehr at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @SarahGLehr.

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