The Indianapolis City-County Council approved a $1.3 billion 2022 budget Oct. 18, with the largest chunks of funding going toward public safety programs and criminal justice.
The ordinance passed with a 23-1 vote, capping an annual budget process that was unique this year because it was packaged an extra $419 million from the federal American Rescue Plan. The city will spend that money over the next three years.
Democratic councilor Ethan Evans was the lone no vote.
Mayor Joe Hogsett introduced his proposed budget in August, followed by presentations from the mayor’s office to each council committee, all of which returned a do-pass recommendation to the full council.
The budget includes both city and county departments because of the Indianapolis-Marion County consolidation.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department represents the largest portion of city funds at $295 million, or 30% of all money for city departments. About $30 million is reserved for the police pension fund.
The Indianapolis Fire Department and Department of Public Works each make up about 21% of the city’s budget.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has the largest chunk of funding at $108.5 million, or 27% of all money for county departments. Marion Superior Court is set to receive 16% of county funds.
The Marion County Coroner’s Office, which has struggled to keep up with record homicide levels and COVID-19 deaths, will get a 32% increase in its budget.
The budget includes $163 million for roads, resurfacing, bridges, sidewalks and trails, along with $107 million for stormwater projects.
The American Rescue Plan, which offers the city more money beyond its traditional budget, includes $150 million for a three-year anti-violence program. The number of peacekeepers, who work at the street level to prevent violence, will increase to 50, and the city has expanded its crime prevention grants from $3 million to $15 million per year.
About $33 million from the federal funds earmarked for anti-violence efforts will go to IMPD for technology and personnel. The department wants to add 100 new officers and 22 civilian public safety officers, though IMPD has struggled to meet staffing goals.
The council approved funds from the American Rescue Plan in September.
Expected revenue in 2022 is projected to outpace expenses by about $97,000. A majority of revenue comes from property and income taxes.
Councilor Evans said he approved of most of the budget but voted no because it falls short in addressing issues such as homelessness and mental health outside of the criminal justice system.
“We should be making much larger strides and taking faster action to meeting those goals,” he said.
Republicans essentially argued the opposite: that the budget doesn’t do enough for issues such as infrastructure but needed to be passed because of the investments in public safety and criminal justice.
Council President Vop Osili said in a statement after meeting the budget represents the council’s “commitment to public safety and quality of life for all Indianapolis residents.”
Hogsett has made it clear the focus for the budget — along with American Rescue Plan funds — is to combat the city’s rising homicide numbers.
“Tonight’s vote signals a remarkable level of bipartisan cooperation as we take on the challenges facing our city and plot a vision for a safer Indianapolis,” he said in a statement.
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.