MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis City Council has approved a revised version of Mayor Jacob Frey's 2020 city budget that includes more than a million dollars in cuts to MPD.
As part of the council's revisions, approximately $1.1 million will be moved from the police budget to the city's office of violence prevention. $100,000 was added into the budget to support a community engagement phase that will lead to the development of a permanent memorial for George Floyd.
The Star Tribune reports that smaller amounts will be transferred from the police department budget to fund a program helping people with AIDS or HIV, to promote “healthy living” in low-income housing, and a youth program. The council has also suggested moving employees in the police department’s records unit into other city departments.
Council members have been outspoken about moving to defund MPD in the wake of Floyd's death, and recently voted unanimously to fast track the process to change the city charter. That would allow the council to replace the police department with a community-oriented public safety system accountable to both the mayor and the city council.
The budget approved by the city council addresses a projected $156 million dollar loss in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mayor and council used a combination of spending freezes, use of cash reserves, program cuts and employee furloughs to trim the operating budget to approximately $1.5 billion.
The revised budget now goes to Frey, who will decide whether to accept the changes or veto it.
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