Portland City Council holds its third public hearing tonight on 2013-14 budget proposals, and union supporters will be out to protest possible spending cuts and layoffs.

The hearing is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, April 11, at Montgomery Park, 2701 N.W. Vaughn St.

A new group called Solidarity Against Austerity, which includes public employee unions and Portland Jobs with Justice, will urge city commissioners to support a no-cuts budget. Instead, the group is calling on city commissioners to tap reserves from internal services funds, which are repositories for money saved for health insurance, vehicle purchases and other items or increasing the city business tax.

“There are lots of options for balancing the budget with zero layoffs,” said Greg Margolis of Portland Jobs with Justice in a press release. “We need a budget that puts Portland’s people first, not the big developers, banks and corporations."

City economists calculate the city general fund — the discretionary part of the budget — faces a $21 million shortfall for the fiscal year beginning in July, and city commissioners are weighing a series of cutbacks to balance the budget.

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