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$6.7 million HHS increase on the table

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

Just shy of a majority of City Council gathered mid-work session on Tuesday to show support for a $6.7 million increase in the city’s Health and Human Services Department budget. Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo and Council Members Ora Houston, Delia Garza, Greg Casar and Ann Kitchen held a press conference with One Voice Central Texas to declare their support for the increase. One Voice, which is a coalition of 85 area nonprofits, has launched a campaign for the increase in the hope that it would help close the gap between the city’s richest and poorest residents. The group notes that while police, fire and even parks department budgets have increased about 250 percent over the past decade, the budget for Health and Human Services has increased only 20 percent, despite growing poverty in the region. “What is a booming economy for, if we remain such a segregated economy, if we remain such a segregated city?” asked Casar. More information about the plan can be found on the One Voice website, and it will surely be a topic of discussion during Council’s ongoing budget talks. Council will approve a final budget next month.

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