Politics and Government

Dozens of layoffs possible under Minneapolis mayor’s amended budget plan

Mayor Jacob Frey, right, and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, right, and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo at a June 18, 2020 news conference. Frey said Thursday the city faces a major budget shortfall.
Matt Sepic | MPR News

Dozens of Minneapolis city employees could lose their jobs under a plan Mayor Jacob Frey presented Thursday in hopes of closing a nearly $98 million revenue gap. Frey says the pandemic as well as the unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police are the primary reasons for the shortfall.

Frey proposes to use nearly $58 million in cash reserves to partially close the gap. And he said while the city has saved money from city employees taking voluntary unpaid leaves, as many as 40 layoffs may be necessary.

"It is still our hope that through continued negotiations with unions we will be able to avoid much of these layoffs,” said Frey. “These decisions are central to giving us the best shot at being on stable footing moving forward."

City Council President Lisa Bender said the mayor’s plan will help the city through this troubling time.

"I think this budget will allow us to continue to provide the great services that Minneapolis residents expect,” said Bender, “and to support our staff through this economic and health crisis."

The council's budget committee will hold two public hearings and a markup session next week. The full council will vote on an amended budget by the end of the month.