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Sunday, May 19, 2024
Soglin’s proposal includes a $15 minimum wage for all city employees.

Soglin’s proposal includes a $15 minimum wage for all city employees.

Soglin announces proposal for 2017 budget

In an attempt to tackle issues such as recidivism, racial disparities and violence in Madison, Mayor Paul Soglin announced a $299.5 million operating budget proposal Tuesday.

Highlights of the 2017 plan include a $15 minimum wage for all city employees, an overall pay increase for almost all employees and a $400,000 action plan focused on racial disparities.

After years of debate between Soglin and the Common Council over a new Midtown police district and a Southeast side fire station, the new budget has put the projects on hold in order to limit increases in city spending. What the plan does call for, however, is a new public market, which Soglin believes will create new jobs and cultivate economic development.

“We can do all three. It’s simply a matter of time,” Soglin said at the announcement.

The city's finance committee will be considering adjustments to the proposed budget, which would raise spending by 3.5 percent, starting Oct. 24, and will make a final decision on Nov. 14.

Soglin’s proposal offers $69.9 million for the Police Department and $50 million for the Fire Department, as well as $360,000 of city tax support to the Madison school district in the event that funding for Education Resource officers is cut. A 2.25 percent pay hike will be provided to most city employees in December, with a 1 percent raise following in mid-2017.

The newly created Focused Interruption Coalition, consisting of faith and community leaders who have experience working with elected officials, is also looking for additional support on their $400,00 action plan.

Additionally, the budget will use $70,000 from the Downtown Business Improvement District to address homelessness in Madison. Soglin, who has expressed interest in learning how local services for the homeless in Madison are structured, has asked his staff to look into how other communities organize their homeless services.

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