Menino's Boston Budget Outlines Some Hiring

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has unveiled his latest budget proposal, a spending plan that seeks to use higher projected revenues and health care savings to expand the city's payroll modestly.

The $2.4 billion proposal he presented to city councilors today would increase spending by 2.5 percent, or $60 million, including a $26 million bump in the school budget. In total, the Menino administration wants to hire more than 200 full-time employees.

As the Globe notes in its preview piece, the hires would be "a significant change for a payroll that has slashed more than 1,100 positions since 2009."

The budget would also add five new city teen centers and increase library services, according to the Herald.

To fund the modest additional spending, the city is counting on a $90 million increase in revenue, mostly from a 2.5 percent bump in property taxes.

The Globe also homes in on another source of funds:

Health insurance costs are expected to decline by $26.3 million in the coming year, the first drop in spending on the employee benefit in memory. A deal struck last year with Boston’s municipal unions means workers pay a larger share of premiums and higher copayments at doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and emergency rooms.

A change in state law also forced retirees eligible for Medicare to join the federal program, which lowered the city’s insurance costs for roughly 5,000 former employees and their dependents.

The budget is for the city's next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

And speaking of budgets, the Legislature's House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to detail its spending plan for the state today, too.

This program aired on April 11, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Benjamin Swasey Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.



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