RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond City Council adopted Mayor Levar Stoney’s proposed budget to move the minimum wage for city workers up to $17 per hour, raise the salaries of most police officers and firefighters and increase funding for schools.
The council voted Monday to adopt Stoney’s $838 million budget proposal for the 2022-23 fiscal year, which starts July 1 and ends June 30, 2023.
Under the budget proposal, the city’s general employees will see a 5% pay increase. The plan calls for 95% of the city’s police officers and firefighters to get at least a 10% raise, with 83% set to receive at least a 15% pay bump.
The council worked through budget amendments and voted on the general fund budget. The budget’s overall price tag is $2.7 billion.
Martin Wegbreit, who the council appointed to sit on the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund Oversight Board, asked the council members to reconsider approving the Stoney’s plan to replace the city’s dedicated funding to the trust with American Rescue Plan Act funding.
“Is this [the] message City Council wants to send to affordable housing developers willing to start filling the shortage of 25,000 affordable rental units in Richmond,” he asked members Monday night.
Wegbreit, one of only two public speakers ahead of the vote, added that the federal was meant to “supplement” but not replace the city’s dedicated contribution.
In April, a member of Stoney’s office told 8News the city dedicated $10 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act for affordable housing projects and services. The administration, they said, planned to issue another $10 million for similar projects in the city using another round of ARPA funds.
They added that the city anticipated to being able to dedicate $10 million in future budget years after ARPA funds were spent.
“This budget boldly represents and funds opportunities for our children, public safety officers, and workforce, while also investing in critical infrastructure improvements and enhancing safety nets for those still recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stoney in a statement after Monday’s vote.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.