Denver City Council gave its final approval for Mayor Michael Hancock’s $1.49 billion budget on Monday night.
Among the high-dollar items included in the budget are $530 million for the city’s Department of Public Safety, $140 million for transportation and infrastructure, and $101 million for the finance department.
The budget passed by a vote of 11-1 with Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca, District 9, being the lone voice of opposition. Councilman Chris Herndon, District 8, was absent from the vote.
City Council debated the budget for months, but passed it unamended.
Council President Stacie Gilmore said the budget will “deliver essential supports and services as well as opportunities for Denverites during this time of recovery in our city.”
The final budget includes more than $2.7 million in City Council-backed initiatives. Some of the initiatives include adding $250,000 for the Denver Immigrant Legal Defense Fund, hiring a city attorney that is solely dedicated to affordable housing issues, and budgeting $270,000 for “employee assistance following traumatic events.”
Other initiatives included in the final budget are $3.8 million to support the expansion of Denver’s Support Team Assistance Response program, a co-responder unit of mental and behavioral health professionals that divert people experiencing a crisis into services rather than jail.
The City is also spending more than $13 million to hire and train new police officers and firefighters. It will also hire more people to join its Street Enforcement Team, a civilian group that is responsible for enforcing the city’s quality of life ordinances.
Council President Pro Tem Jamie Torres, District 3, who described the final budget as “responsive and responsible,” said City Council submitted many of these requests to the mayor’s office over the summer.
This article was originally posted on Denver City Council OKs $1.49B budget for 2022