Mayor Parker unveils Houston's 2014 budget

Parker says budget focuses on Houston's future

HOUSTON - Calling it a plan focused on Houston's future, Mayor Annise Parker said Tuesday her 2014 budget proposal gets the City back on track after tough budget cuts two years in a row.

From putting more police and firefighters on the streets, to more funding for the City's animal shelter and expanding single-stream recycling in more neighborhoods, Parker said her plan provides more city services and balances the budget without asking Houstonians for a tax increase.

"I would characterize the budget as reasonable and realistic," said Parker. "The City is in a good place financially, but there are still concerns and challenges."

Those challenges, she said, include funding pensions and health care for City employees. Some City workers would get a three percent pay raise for the first time in two years.

The proposed $2.2 billion general fund budget includes more money to fund an independent crime lab, more street and drainage improvements and an initiative to link parks and jogging trails across Houston.

Because of the City's improved financial position, the mayor's proposal also includes money to restore Saturday hours at many neighborhood libraries.

Now that the mayor has proposed her budget, city council members will weigh in with their own list of priorities.

Click here to view Mayor Parker's Fiscal Year 2014 Budget.

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