Harris Teases Austerity Budget He'll Present to Commissioners

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In advance of Monday’s regular meeting of the Shelby County Commission, County Mayor Lee Harris released a brief summary of the budget proposal that he intends to lay before the Commission.

Headed “Shelby County’s Come-back,” Harris’ summary advised that “serious cuts” are coming, but said that “the proposed budget meets our obligation to our retirees by fully funding our pension” and “includes strategic investments in education, public safety, public health, emergency preparedness, and in strengthening the social safety net.”
County Mayor Lee Harris
  • County Mayor Lee Harris


The proposed $1.4 billion budget, said Harris, would make it possible to “hire more social workers, more personnel to assist our veterans’ population, and create a new COVID-assistance fund to provide direct assistance to families hard-hit by this worldwide public health emergency.” It would also “fully fund ... our commitment to Public Health.”

Additions in this budget would include approximately $4 million to fund 30 new additional patrolman positions in the Sheriff’s Department, needed “to patrol the soon-to-be de-annexed areas” of Memphis.

On the education front, the budget would allocate $8.5 million to Pre-K and early Pre-K, as well as “$427 million for schools, in addition to $33 million in school construction needs this year.”



“[T]his budget requires us tighten our belts,” Harris said. “This budget proposes serious cuts. This budget will require us all to make some tough decisions, like everyone else in America right now.”

A fuller presentation of budget specifics (and the Commission’s reaction) will be noted in the wake of Monday’s Commission meeting.

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