Memphis city council OKs operating budget

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis' city council has approved an operating budget after more than six hours of debate.

The Commercial Appeal reported late Tuesday that the council approved a compromise that would result in 50 layoffs instead of 100. It would also restore 70 vacant police and fire positions originally targeted for cuts, as well as a 4.6 percent pay cut given to city employees two years ago. The council was still debating the capital budget late Tuesday.

The council was seeking to approve a budget that would satisfy concerns from the state comptroller's office.

Memphis has until July 1 to pass a budget for 2014 fiscal year.

Comptroller Justin Wilson sent a letter to the city weeks ago expressing concern about the city's finances, including how it handled its debt payments on a long-term basis. The letter said the city's practice of postponing debt payments to future years was not acceptable, and if not changed, the state would take action.

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