AG greenlights city budget ballot question

The Attorney General’s office last Friday cleared a ballot question that, if approved by voters this November, would shift the balance of power in Boston’s budget process by giving the council the authority to amend a mayor’s budget “in whole, or in part,” and override a mayoral veto with a two-thirds vote.

The ballot initiative would also set up a new Office of Participatory Budgeting to allow residents a greater say in how Boston spends its money.

“Based on the Attorney General’s standard of review, we find no conflict with the Constitution or laws of the Commonwealth and approve the proposed charter amendment,” said the legal memo.

The clearance puts Boston voters one step closer to deciding whether budgetary power, long dominated by the mayor, should diffuse among the 13-member council and among Boston residents.

Under current law, the council can only reduce or reject items within a budget. It

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