Budget season has started. What does this mean?

There are several opportunities for public engagement with the budget process for fiscal year 2025.


Tune in to hear Mayor Stoney’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2025.

Photo by Jeff Hawthorne

Mayor Levar Stoney introduced his budget proposal for fiscal year 2025 — that’s July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025 — to City Council on Wednesday, March 27. Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect this budget season.

🗓️ Budget season timeline

Budget season began back in January when RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras presented his proposal to the School Board. The School Board approved a $534.5 million budget in February.

Mayor Stoney brought his proposal for the city budget to Council, with the RPS funding incorporated.

City Council has a May 15 deadline to adopt a Schools budget. The whole thing has to be approved by May 31.

💸 What to expect

City Council had a meeting on Monday, March 25 to determine its priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. It landed on five umbrella funding categories:

  • Strong futures for children and families
  • Safe and clean neighborhoods
  • Strategic infrastructure projects
  • Planned growth, economic progress, and affordable housing
  • Responsive, accountable, and innovative government

🎤 Get involved

There are several opportunities for public engagement in the budget process. Mark these dates on your calendar:

  • Monday, April 8 at 6 p.m. | There will be a public hearing on the mayor’s proposed budget during City Council’s formal meeting. Pro tip: Pre-register to give comments by calling the Office of City Clerk by 12 p.m. on April 8.
  • Monday, May 13 at 6 p.m. | City Council will host another public hearing, this time held on proposed amended budget legislation.

🛠️ Budget breakdown

The proposal can be an intimidating document — the whole thing is 639 pages long and amount to $2.9 billion. We’ll be going through the highlights as budget season continues, along with reminders for how you can participate in the process.

We’ll use the umbrella funding categories of city employees, public education, children and families, infrastructure, and housing to parse the numbers.

Here are some big bullet points to start.

  • $20 per hour minimum wage for city employees | In his speech to City Council, Mayor Stoney emphasized that this will help make the city an employer of choice
  • $15.8 million increase for Richmond Public Schools operating budget | The total for RPS would be $237 million
  • $1 million towards modernizing RVA 311 call center
  • $10 million for Brown’s Island enhancements
  • $10 million to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Children and Families

Mayor Stoney’s proposal includes several big ticket items to support Richmond families. Here are a few:

  • $1 million to establish a Child Care and Education Trust Fund | $500K from American Rescue Plan Act funds and $500K dedicated in FY25 proposal
  • $500,000 to support the Richmond Resilience Initative, the guaranteed income pilot program which began in 2020
  • $1 million towards family crisis funding to provide basic needs to those experiencing financial emergencies

Did you know? The budget also includes funds for various charitable organizations around the city. This year’s proposal includes increased funds for ART 180 ($35,000), the ChildSavers program We Matter RVA ($170,000), CultureWorks ($406,400), and NextUp RVA (a combined $1.4 million).

City Council’s next budget work session is on the books for Monday, April 15 at 1 p.m. Pro tip: You can attend virtually.

We’ll dive more into the details in the coming weeks. In the meantime, send us your budget-related questions and we’ll do our best to get them answered.