Mayor Greg Fischer's statement on the Metro Council budget approval

June 25, 2019

"Metro Council has approved a budget that reflects the difficult realities caused by our increasing state pension obligation. This increasing obligation is not the fault of Metro Council nor my office; however, when faced with the choice to raise revenue to prevent reductions in services to our citizens, Metro Council voted against new revenue.

"This budget is not what a thriving city like ours deserves, and it is not the budget that any of us want.

"Because we already have a lean government, there were no easy decisions. I proposed a balanced budget that prioritized public safety and basic city services, while working to minimize the pain on our most vulnerable citizens.

"Though the Council approved 99.5% of the budget I proposed, and I do appreciate that, I would not be doing my job if I did not share with you my concerns about their changes, including that their choices may deepen inequities in our community.

"While I understand and share the desire to keep our library hours the same — and I love our libraries — Council does that by closing Youth Detention Services, before we can work out a solution with the State to keep our most vulnerable youth near their families and their schools.

"The desire to keep the Middletown library is understandable, but Council has done that with deep cuts to our violence prevention efforts.

"And Council has increased their neighborhood spending accounts by cutting the offices that work to create economic development throughout our city, and the office that makes Metro Government more efficient.

"While I disagree with these choices, my team will move forward, balance the budget and find ways to implement them with the least amount of pain to our residents. My thanks go to Budget Chair Bill Hollander for his leadership throughout this process.

"With our pension costs continuing to increase over the coming years, more cuts will keep coming. I don’t like it, but that’s reality. I understand that many people do not want to raise taxes, but no one likes service cuts either. We must face the reality that we must have new revenue if we want to continue to pursue greatness for our city.

"I pledge to continue to work with the State and our Metro Council to find new revenue, and to keep fighting to make sure Louisville has the services it needs to be the thriving, compassionate city that we all deserve."

— Mayor Greg Fischer


Learn more about the increasing state pension obligation