Over the next couple of months, the Jacksonville City Council will debate and pass a new budget after Mayor Lenny Curry presented his proposed spending plan Tuesday.
The increases in Curry’s spending plan are for the Fire and Rescue Department, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and gradual pay raises for city employees.
In response to the mayor’s plan, the progressive-leaning Jacksonville Community Action Committee is releasing an alternative the group calls a “People’s Budget.” It includes investment in living-wage jobs and mental health services.
Community Action Committee Chair Michael Sampson said on Wednesday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross it’s time to change the way the city spends its tax dollars.
“For example in our People’s Budget, if ideally you were to reallocate some of JSO’s budget, an example of an increase you could see is perhaps 15 more million dollars going toward the Division of Mental Health services, to provide more mental health, especially after a year after Covid, where you saw our citizens really struggling with mental health.”
The group is planning to rally for the "People’s Budget" at the next City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 27.
The full interview with Sampson can be heard on Wednesday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, which encores at 8 p.m. on WJCT News 89.9.