Local News Politics

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says Metro Government will have to make some tough choices in the months ahead to balance the city budget.

In his annual State of the City address to the Downtown Rotary Club today, Fischer warned that everything except essential services is on the table for possible cuts.

That means city employee benefits and external agencies such as arts and social service groups will be under scrutiny.

“We now have to ask if some of these grants are core government services. We’re at a point with the budget when we have to say what are our core responsibilities and obviously we’re going to fund them first,” he said.

Fischer, a Democrat, says the city must close a budget shortfall of about $12 million over the next six months and a projected shortfall of up to $30 million the following year.

Republican Metro Councilman Kelly Downard called Fischer’s speech an honest appraisal of the city’s fiscal condition.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."