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Denver Ballot Issue 2G Grant City Council Emergency Budget Authority

Referred Measure 2G: Grant City Council Emergency Budget AuthorityTitle: Shall the Charter of the City and County of Denver be amended to give the city Council authority to initiate a supplemental appropriation or transfer, following consultation with the Manager of Finance?Background: Under the current charter, Council has the sole authority to approve appropriations, approve, or amend the budget (this happens during the annual budget cycle). When unexpected revenues are generated in excess of the annual budget, only the Mayor or the cabinet may propose extra-budgetary uses for those revenues. Appropriations of these funds must be approved by Council. This bill would allow the Council to propose a transfer of unused revenue or to appropriate new revenue, giving the Council the ability to initiate these appropriations or transfers instead of just reacting to them.Major Provisions:The city Council (in addition to the Mayor and cabinet members) would be able to recommend mid-year changes in the use of city funds including:Appropriation of new (unanticipated) revenue (e.g. federal infusion, new tax or fee);Appropriation of revenue in excess of estimated budget (e.g. over-performance of projections); Transfer of an unencumbered balance in whole or in part (e.g. for a project that required less money than that budgeted).These appropriations and transfers:Cannot conflict with any uses for which such revenue was specifically accruedCannot cause a deficit in the fundWould require consultation with the Manager of FinanceWould follow that of the annual budget process.

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  • Yes - For the Measure

  • No - Against the Measure

Those in favor say: -Council should have more than one chance a year to propose uses for the city’s funds.

-Council is perceived by the public to have responsibility for how the city’s money is appropriated, while the mayor and the cabinet must propose any midyear changes to respond to issues. This amendment would bring Council abilities in line with the community’s expectations of Council.

-A number of cities comparable to Denver specifically allow their Council to initiate this type of transfer (Philadelphia, PA; Columbus, OH; Detroit, MI; San Francisco, CA (City and County); Austin, Texas (City).

Proponents: City Council
Those opposed say: -The mayor’s office needs to retain flexibility in uses of funds especially during times of reduced revenue or unanticipated emergency needs for funds.

-The Council already can respond to any mid-year changes proposed by the Mayor or the cabinet.

Opponents: The Mayor’s office