Bing will likely approve council's budget

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    Detroit — Mayor Dave Bing is not expected to veto the City Council’s amendments to his 2012-13 budget, in contrast to the squabbles that marked previous years.

    Bing staffers officially received the $1.1 billion budget Tuesday afternoon and have until Friday to return the document to the panel. Mayoral spokeswoman Naomi Patton declined comment.

    But Council President Charles Pugh said Tuesday he isn’t expecting problems this year, unlike the past two years when back-and-forth debate over the budget lasted another month after its initial approval. The difference this year is an improved revenue consensus process, which sets the amount of money available to be spent, Pugh said.

    “That was the main source of the conflict (before),” he said. “I’m glad we’re avoiding the (drama) this year. What citizens need is a responsible budget.”

    The council last week approved the budget, keeping much of Bing’s proposed $250 million in cuts intact but restoring some departments slated for elimination. The fiscal year starts July 1.

    The council passed the budget 6-3, with members JoAnn Watson, Kwame Kenyatta and Brenda Jones dissenting. Bing’s proposed budget eliminates 2,566 positions, reduces the city’s deficit by $75 million and includes a 10 percent pay cut for police officers. It reduces Police Department spending by $75 million to $340 million and cuts officer staffing to about 2,950 through attrition and work rule changes.

    The council decided to restore funding to the Law Department; keep the Human Rights Department; provide funding in General Services to maintain comfort stations at Belle Isle; put back $2.3 million to the Elections Department to cover presidential year expenses; and fund the Health & Wellness Promotion Department while they study an outside entity to run it.

    “Obviously (Bing) is getting most of what he believes is fiscally necessary to at least get through this year,” said political analyst Eric Foster. “He believes this can work. Council made changes, but it ended up close to balancing out what (Bing) wanted in terms of the budget. It’s going in the right direction.”

    From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120530/METRO01/205300354#ixzz1wMKn4YAJ

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