Houston city budget workshops kick off amid economic turmoil

Houston fiscal year 2020-21 budget workshops run from April 7 through May 20. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Houston fiscal year 2020-21 budget workshops run from April 7 through May 20. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Houston fiscal year 2020-21 budget workshops run from April 7 through May 20. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Houston city department heads are presenting budget proposals throughout April and May amid unprecedented economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

With only essential businesses open and record high unemployment claims throughout Texas and the U.S., the city is facing potentially historic reductions in tax revenue.

Last year, Houston City Council voted to commit to follow a zero-based budgeting approach for the fiscal year 2020-21 budget, meaning each expenditure needs to be justified by department heads rather than assumed to be carried over from the previous fiscal year.

All workshops are streamed on HTV, and residents can provide feedback remotely by following the city’s new public meeting guidelines.

Below is the workshop schedule.


April 7

10 a.m.: Police department

11 a.m.: Fire department

April 9

1 p.m.: Finance department

2 p.m.: Mayor’s office

3 p.m.: Controller’s office

April 14

9 a.m.: City Council

10 a.m.: General services

11 a.m.: Library

April 16

1 p.m.: Planning and development

2 p.m.: Department of neighborhoods

3 p.m.: Parks and recreation

April 23

1 p.m.: Office of Business Opportunity

2 p.m.: Human Resources

April 29

1 p.m.: Administration & Regulatory Affairs

2 p.m.: Solid Waste

3 p.m.: Houston Health

April 30

1 p.m.: Municipal courts

2 p.m.: Housing

3 p.m.: Legal

May 13

1 p.m.: Special called meeting, five-year forecast

2 p.m.: Houston Public Works

3 p.m.: Information Technology

May 14

1 p.m.: Fleet

2 p.m.: Houston Airport System

May 20

1 p.m.: Special meeting, trends report

June 3

9 a.m.: Public hearing of proposed FY 2020-21 budget, City Council vote
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.