Miami balancing budget under financial urgency
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Commissioners are working under a state of financial urgency to balance the City of Miami's budget.
According to state law, the city needs to have a balanced budget by Sept. 30. Thursday night, beginning at 5 p.m., the city commission will have its first hearing on a proposed balance budget of $485 million.
Commissioners say they have been able to close a $40 million hole in the budget by eliminating open, vacant positions, which they will leave unfilled, so no one will lose their jobs. They also negotiated with different city unions, including police, fire, sanitation and other general city employees.
They say none of the employees will have to sacrifice services or lose their jobs or pensions. However, they will have to make some concessions. They are asking the unions to change the way they fund employee pensions by having those employees put more of their own earnings over more time toward their pension.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado explained, "They're putting more money for more time in the pensions, and they will continue to get their pension as calculated, but for them to stay putting more money in the pension saves, in the long run, many millions of dollars for the city."
The mayor said the concessions requested from the Fraternal Order of Police amount to about $11 million, for example.
A representative for the City of Miami Firefighters union said there are loose ends that still need to be tired up. "It's very easy for the mayor to say everything's fine and dandy when it's the employees that are sacrificing in this process," he said. "I don't think the mayor's offering to reduce his benefits any of this year."
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