Democratic Boston Mayor Vetoes Cut In Police Budget

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu (D) vetoed the city’s proposed budget over concerns about a number of left-wing initiatives, including a substantial cut in the police budget.

The Boston City Council passed a draft budget that would have reduced the city’s police budget by $31 million. It would have also cut the city’s veteran services budget by almost $1 million.

The proposed budget would have reduced funding for the Boston Public Library and for the city’s public works and transportation departments. Her move was praised by the head of the Boston police union, who called it a “commonsense decision.”

The proposed budget included a number of amendments from the City Council on top of her original April budget proposal.

The first-term mayor said that the proposed budget amendments would “result in reductions to the core City services that our residents depend on and deserve.”

“Our budget must be responsive to the needs of our constituents, fiscally responsible and built on a foundation of effective delivery of City services that are central to our residents’ quality of life,” she said.

During the 2021 campaign for mayor, Wu promised a policy of “dismantling racism in policing.” However, in vetoing the change in funding for law enforcement, the mayor said that the proposed cut was “illusory.” 

The mayor’s decision also rejected proposed cuts to several other city services. 

A final vote on the budget is expected next week. The amended version the mayor vetoed was passed in a 7-5 vote. It would require eight ‘yes’ votes for the City Council to overturn Wu’s veto.

Last year, the mayor vetoed a bill that would have raised the salaries of her own office and of city council members.

The proposal would have increased the officials’ salaries by 20%. She said at the time that “like all workers, our elected officials should receive salary increases, but they should be square with the increases that our frontline workers have received and are receiving in the contracts that we continue to settle.”