Update: Boston Mayor Wu rejects City Council budget cuts to Boston Police, Veterans departments

The Herald has the scoop here! 

The City Council has scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday, June 21, at noon to discuss the mayor’s budget rejection. The body would need a two-thirds majority, or eight votes, to override any of the mayor’s vetoes. A vote will not be taken on a final budget until the following Wednesday, June 28th.

Original Post

On Wednesday, Boston City Councilors narrowly approved a $4.2 billion operating budget with $31 million in cuts to the Boston Police Department which is causing a bit of controversy with its cuts. Here’s the lowdown.

According to the Boston Herald, there was a 7-5 vote to approve the budget.  Councilors who voted against it were Ed Flynn, Michael Flaherty, Frank Baker, Erin Murphy and Gabriela Coletta.  The yes votes were from councilors Ricardo Arroyo, Tania Fernandes Anderson, Kendra Lara, Ruthzee Louijeune, Julia Mejia, and Brian Worrell.

The budget has been submitted to Mayor Michelle Wu, who can either veto or accept the amendments the Council made to her initial budget. The Council approved roughly $52.9 million in amendments. Still, the two that drew the most opposition were those that would reduce the Boston Police Department by $30.91 million and Veterans Office budgets by  $900,000.

The Boston Globe is reporting that the Wu administration has some concerns. “We’ll be reviewing the Council’s amended budget in the next couple of days, but have concerns about the scale and scope of cuts proposed to departments delivering key City services.”

At Wednesday’s hearing Flaherty said, “We’ve got the best police department in the country. And we’ve got the best community policing model in the country. We are the envy of cities our size and bigger across this country and we’re all seeing it daily as to what’s happening to cities that are defunding the police.” Flaherty also added, “This cut of $30 million would be decimating to our Boston Police Department.”

According to the Boston Globe, Fernandes Anderson pushed back on the notion that more police were needed, “You made us violent, you created a jungle, you made us into an animal,” she said. “We’re surviving the very system that this city built and here we are saying ‘Invest in us.’”

Other City departments that would see decreases in their budgets include the Boston Transportation Department, the Public Works Department, Boston Fire Department, the Inspectional Services Department, the Boston Public Library, the Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the Office of Veterans Services, and the Boston Police Department.

Plans that would receive funding in the budget include mental health response; signage for a Black Heritage Trail; vouchers for public school students, programs that would expand the city’s tree canopy; and measures that would help child care, workforce development, English-as-second-language classes, street and sidewalk repairs, graffiti removal, and many other line items.

You can read more details about this here. 

Statement from City Council President Ed Flynn:

“As Boston City Councilors, one of the most important responsibilities that we have is to review, amend, and approve a fiscally responsible budget that delivers services, provides resources, and makes critical investments that move our city forward. This means that we need to ensure city departments that keep our city safe, healthy, and running have the budget they need to operate and serve our constituents.

The amended operating budget today included deep and painful cuts to city departments that provide critical services to our residents, including to the Boston Police Department, Boston Fire Department, Boston Transportation Department, Inspectional Services Department, Public Works Department, Veterans Services, and many others. These are the departments that provide direct services to our neighbors, their employees and resources that are integral to the functioning of our city. I could not vote for a budget that included these significant budget cuts for many city departments.    

I look forward to continuing working with Mayor Wu and my colleagues on this budget process.”

Statement from City Councilor Erin Murphy:

It is unconscionable to cut even one dollar from our already modest Office of Veterans
Services, but to cut 14% of the $6.2 million budget is beyond the pale, and is why I voted
NO today.

The Chair’s feeble excuse that some City funds disbursed to indigent veterans for daily
needs like groceries and heating may be reimbursed by the State is nothing but a shell
game. Any money received under Ch 115 Section 6 simply replenishes the account so it
can be used in the next year to help our veterans meet their most basic needs with at least
some dignity.

Veterans are at higher risk for PTSD, homelessness, poverty, addiction, and suicide.

To turn our backs on them in this moment, when our City’s operating budget is higher than
it’s ever been in history; to use the relatively small set-aside of funding that is put to urgent
use for our veterans every day as a piggy bank to pay for some councilors’ politically self-
interested pet projects is an insult I won’t forget and I won’t stand for.

The 7 councilors who voted yes today to more than decimate the Veterans budget made a
cruel choice. I hope they wake up tomorrow and regret their irresponsible decision.

Councilor Erin Murphy
Chair of Veterans, Military Families and Military Affairs

This post will be updated if other councilor release statements and send to Caught in Southie.



  1. Kevin Conroy June 15, 2023 at 10:18 am - Reply

    A cut of $900K for veterans services. ” Thank you for your service. “

  2. George June 15, 2023 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Wake up Boston voters. When shootings and crime are up in your neighborhood look no further than the vote.

  3. Joseph C Lubin June 15, 2023 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    what a freaking shame. but Boston is full of liberal idiots.

  4. A Mere Couple of Days… June 15, 2023 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    …after a BPD officer is shot while at the same time refusing to return fire and not “to preserve the sanctity of life” (according to the identity-hire BPD commissioner/former BPD cop/$1m settlement recipient…but “no hard feelings”….ya, right)) but to preserve his job, his freedom and his assets.
    She ran on the “Defund the Police” platform and, upon election, proceeded to abuse the resources of that very department by requiring multiple personal police escorts on her daily Orange Line/ Twitter adventures. Not to mention her unoccupied , taxpayer-funded “chariot” (with the blue lights and siren you may have heard about recently) following the train all the way down town.


    Welcome to Chicago, everyone.

    Boston, we hardly knew ye…

  5. Pat lavey June 15, 2023 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Councilor fernandez I hope u didn’t cut any money from the mental health budget you may be due for a check up from the neck up.

  6. Brian June 15, 2023 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    serve your country and get screwed

  7. Brian June 15, 2023 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    as a U.S.A.F. veteran who uses these services this is just wrong along with the other cuts

    • Matty June 17, 2023 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Brian it’s pretty easy living though anywhere in this country for “the” veterans though. Guys way worse off then you have no other place to go. No money no good job, not enough hours., not enough food, not enough anything, but then we get taxed and screwed over every year. I’m all for the police, but most of those guys are military and get ridiculous wages, pensions, and benefits. On top of that military service benefits!!! Meanwhile other regular joes can’t even survive out here on their own as respected adults with good resumes and job history. So many other places will give you every job you want just because you served. If I wanted a job @ McDonalds for instance and there was two guys you and I. I’d get screwed over just because you were in the military. 🤦‍♂️ Biased, corrupt, unfair system!!!!!!

      Also to be fair have you seen how much money these guys were getting in O.T in recent years. Insane how much money that is. I’m for it because I get it’s expensive for us all, but sometimes cuts are needed because we have other major problems that need work. Money has to come from somewhere bro. The worst part is when those higher ups just sitting on that money not saving it or putting it towards our community. Disgusting 🤮.

      • Kevin Mahoney June 22, 2023 at 4:59 am - Reply

        Seriously? You obviously don’t have a clue about reality, what are you talking about “it’s pretty easy to live as a veteran, other people have no place to go”? 🙄 Do you realize how many homeless veterans there are, who get bumped by illegal immigrants for housing? Veterans sacrifice years of their lives and risk losing their lives, to keep the citizens of the United States safe! If we’re not safe from being invaded we have nothing! And these “other programs” they want to use the veterans money for are a JOKE, show some common courtesy and common sense.

  8. Brian June 15, 2023 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    UNBELIEVABLE thanks for your service

    • Ya Know What Department… June 15, 2023 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      ….”isn’t” getting “defunded”, don’t ya? I GUARANTEE you the Assessing Department has all the funds necessary to ensure that the 75% yearly addition to the city budget it raises continues to roll in. Does anybody believe the double-digit (10% ) rent increases …in THIS economy???….“allowed“by our most benevolent imperial leader isn’t a precursor of the most-certain value/tax increases coming down the road??
      (But only in “certain” neighborhoods, of course. Cuz…”equity”, or…something.)

      Wu…surely there’s some things that need “fixing” back in beautiful, bucolic Chicago. I’ll even drive you to the airport. Lights…sirens….whatever it takes. Please …go back from whence you came. You have NO LOVE for my city or its residents. The exact opposite, actually.

  9. Nino June 15, 2023 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Evidently none of Fernandez’s constituents are veterans or work for any of the departments that are cut. Shame on you.

    • Her Stepson… June 15, 2023 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      ..actually worked for HER at one point, in CLEAR violation of nepotism laws. Not anymore though; his most recent “brush with fame” involved getting pulled over and found to be in possession of a loaded, illegal firearm. AMAZING how quick that story went away , huh? Maybe daddy (her husband, convicted murderer, she married him behind bars) has room in his cell for a roomie? Father& son together again. Hey, if that’s what it takes, right?

      My God, how did it come to this…::

  10. Susan Ridge June 15, 2023 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    I believe that if you were NOT born in America regardless if you became a citizen, you should NOT be allowed to run or hold any political office, The race card being played is disgusting. They are clearly not for all citizens, only for a certain group. Shame on them!

    • Michael Schmidt June 16, 2023 at 12:33 pm - Reply

      So despite living in the United States for most of my life, serving in the US Army, deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan on multiple occasions, you believe that because I wasn’t born in the United States I shouldn’t be allowed to run for or hold any political office?

  11. john carter June 16, 2023 at 9:01 am - Reply

    unacceptable vote out the members that voted to cut off the veterans

  12. R. Sullivan June 16, 2023 at 10:22 am - Reply

    I am disgusted with the City I was born and raised in. With all the taxes we have to pay to live here you’d think there was enough money to take care of our essential needs. BPD, BFD, and the veterans that gave their lives to make sure we were free. This is appalling.

  13. Kevin Coyne June 18, 2023 at 8:55 am - Reply

    This is an election year. Please remember this moment. Boston deserves better than this.

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