Mayor Wu Proposes Budget that Invests in Boston Families, Residents of Every Generation
Mayor Michelle Wu today proposed her administration’s proposed operating budget and capital plan for the next fiscal year. The proposal combines new initiatives and deeper investments in existing services to make Boston the best place in the country to raise a family and better serve residents of all generations.
The First for Families Budget includes a proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Operating Budget of $4.28 billion funds all City services, including schools, libraries, public safety, housing supports, parks, senior centers, and street cleaning. It also includes pay and benefits for the City’s 19,000 person workforce.
The Fiscal Years 2024-2028 Capital Plan proposal of $4.2 billion funds the City’s infrastructure investments, including $58 million to improve public ways and public transit, $374 million for school construction and renovation, and landmark investments throughout Boston including a new pool in Charlestown; new libraries in Codman Square, Fields Corner, and Egleston Square; and new community centers in Grove Hall, the North End, Allston, Mission Hill, and Hyde Park.
These investments in Boston families build upon last year’s announcement of $350 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that the City channeled into new housing construction and homeownership programs, support for neighborhood businesses and downtown revitalization, adding more affordable child care seats, clean energy and climate initiatives, and mental health programs.
“Building on our commitment to make Boston the best place in the country to raise a family, this proposal invests in our communities and community centers—in the infrastructure, spaces, programs, and services that support our people and keep our City running,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “These investments combine new initiatives and expanded services to better serve residents of all generations.”
Mayor Wu also announced that Boston has received a AAA bond rating from both rating agencies, Moody's and S&P Global, for the ninth year in a row. These ratings are a recognition of the City’s strong fiscal management through the pandemic and recovery. The ratings will allow the City to secure the most favorable rates for infrastructure investments to support equity, affordability, and resiliency in every neighborhood.
“Mayor Wu’s proposed budget builds on the City’s critical efforts to deliver for residents across all of Boston’s neighborhoods while maintaining the fiscal responsibility that has positioned Boston as a national model in financial management,” said Ashley Groffenberger, Chief Financial Officer. “With the City receiving a AAA bond for the ninth year in a row, the administration is taking a coordinated and fiscally responsible approach to the operating budget, capital plan, and federal ARPA funds that will strengthen the City services and infrastructure serving our residents now and in the future.”
The proposed operating budget and capital plan make investments across four key areas to create new opportunities for residents of all ages; build safer, healthier communities; fund critical improvements to clean, resilient infrastructure; and continue delivering exceptional constituent services.
Creating intergenerational opportunity
- $374 million for school buildings and $9.6 million to support students with special needs across Boston Public Schools
- $4 million in new Universal Pre-K funding to add over 350 new seats for three and four year olds
- $43 million for new libraries in Fields Corner, Egleston Square, and Codman Square and $750,000 to expand weekly and Saturday hours at Boston Public Library branches
- $178 million in new capital funding for constructing and renovating BCYF Community Centers in Grove Hall, the North End, Allston, Mission Hill, and Hyde Park and Clougherty Pool renovations in Charlestown
- An unprecedented $18 million investment in youth jobs, the largest in Boston’s history
- $500,000 for youth swim lessons
- $250,000 for senior care workforce development
- $900,000 for additional programming for older residents at community centers
- $500,000 to train Boston residents from traditionally underrepresented communities for careers in the growing life sciences industry
Ensuring public health and community safety
- $1.2 million in violence prevention programming and public safety staffing at Boston Housing Authority sites
- $582,000 for the Youth Connect Program at the Boston Police Department, investing in culturally responsive & trauma-informed mental health services for high-risk youth
- $3.3 million to run critical low threshold housing sites
- $28 million in new funding for firehouses and equipment, and additional Emergency Medical Services staff to maintain response times across Boston
- $30 million in new funding to redesign streets with a focus on safety
Supporting a green and growing City
- $50 million to upgrade systems at the Boston Housing Authority by ending the use of fossil fuels and create healthier and more comfortable homes
- $5 million investment to expand the City’s voucher, rental relief, and accessory dwelling unit programs
- $750,000 to add trees and green infrastructure to support replacing paved surfaces with plantings
- Funding to support $5 Bluebikes passes for 10,000 residents and $1.4 million to introduce electric Bluebikes to the system
- $84 million in new capital funding for the creation, reconstruction, and maintenance of City parks
- $58 million in new capital funds for public transit, sidewalk improvements, and City infrastructure that supports walking and biking
- Additional staffing capacity for the City's Office of Supplier Diversity to support businesses owned by women and people of color in accessing City contracts, supplementing a $9 million investment from federal recovery funds focused on the growth of these businesses
Delivering exceptional City services
- $6 million to upgrade Boston 311 and provide a higher level of service to every resident
- Expanded staffing across core constituent service departments like the City Registry and Inspectional Services
- Increased language access support for the Disabilities Commission and Office of Emergency Management
- Investments in simplifying the event permitting process so residents can more easily stay connected through events in their neighborhoods
- $500,000 investment in career pipelines for residents by adding two City Academy tracks for bus driver and wastewater management certification as a pathway toward a career with the City
- $147 million to keep Boston’s bridges, stairs, and walking paths in a state of good repair
- $94 million in capital funding for central facilities, including City Hall and City Hall Plaza
- $1.5 million to increase capacity at Property Management, conduct a facilities assessment, and implement an asset management system
The proposed operating budget and capital plan were formally filed with the City Council on Monday.
For more information about the proposals visit http://budget.boston.gov/.