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Proposed 2020 budget adds millions for New Orleans police, fire

Major departments like police and fire would see an increase in funding for 2020 if the council adopts the $722 million budget.

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans City Council is expected to pass the proposed 2020 budget on Thursday which could include increases for the police and fire departments.

According to Mayor LaToya Cantrell's office, major departments like police and fire would see an increase in funding for 2020 if the council adopts her $722 million budget.

Cantrell's budget proposal includes another $6.9 million in property taxes. She said that without the extra money, the city will need to consider making cuts. Her administration has warned those cuts could come in the form of furloughs and layoffs, slower response times from police and fire departments, longer waits for street repairs and closing some libraries and recreation centers.

Here's a brief breakdown of where some of that money would go to next year:

One of the biggest costs is the fire department in New Orleans. Cantrell has proposed about $118 million - roughly a $2 million increase from last year's budget.

The New Orleans Police Department would also see an increase in funding. The proposed budget sets aside $175 million, which is also an increase of $2 million compared to the previous year. The NOPD said that the increase will partly go to recruitment efforts to get more officers on the streets.

Public Works is also a large expense coming from the general fund. Last year, the council adopted a $36 million for that department. Cantrell is proposing an about a half a million-dollar increase in its budget for 2020.

All of these expenses come from the general fund which is paid for through property taxes.

The City Council is expected to decide on the budget Thursday morning at New Orleans City Hall.

Councilmember Jay Banks will be in the WWL-TV studio at 7 a.m. Thursday to discuss the budget proposal and other topics. 

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WWL-TV reporter Duke Carter can be reached at dcarter@wwltv.com