PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland City Council approved a $5.7 billion budget that takes tentative steps toward a non-police approach to public safety.
Early in the meeting, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty introduced an amendment that would expand the new Street Response Team citywide. The program is currently in a pilot stage focused in the greater Lents neighborhood that assists those facing homelessness or in a mental health crisis. Hardesty’s proposal expands the pilot program by 12 months and allows City Council to decide later whether to keep it.
The amendment failed and the program will continue its pilot program in Lents.
Commissioner Dan Ryan opted for a slower approach. “I think we can build this,” he said. “I also think it’s important that we build on a really strong foundation.”
Other items in the budget approved by City Council:
- $3 million cut to the Portland Police Bureau
- $5.7 million to a citywide cleanup effort
- $6.3 million will fully fund the Joint Office of Homeless Services
The budget also includes a program to provide cleanup jobs for those experiencing homelessness.
The new budget will take effect July 1, 2021.