Yesterday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released his 2017-2018 budget proposal. The City Council will negotiate with the mayor on the new New York City budget and will need to reach an agreement before the fiscal year is over on June 30th.
This post will be updated as more information comes out.
Give me the headlines
- NYC will spend almost $85 billion next year if Bill de Blasio has his way, compared to just over $82 billion this year. The budget has increased 17% since Mayor Bloomberg.
- The budget includes initial funding for Mayor de Blasio’s 3-K Preschool program.
- Transportation advocates campaigned for “Fair Fares,” lower-priced Metrocards for low-income New Yorkers, but that didn’t make it into the budget.
- There’s $1.1 billion in funding to replace the jail on Rikers Island, though the money is not tied to any specific plan or location.
- The Mayor’s budget calls for $1.9 billion for 10,000 affordable apartments, $300 million to renovate homeless shelters, and $355 million for NYCHA public housing repairs.
- The East River Greenway will be expanded from 61st St down to 53rd St, narrowing one of the last remaining gaps in parkland meant to encircle all of Manhattan. That project will cost $100 million.
- $29 million will go towards air conditioning all New York City schools by 2022, though more money may be needed for electrical upgrades at schools. (All that air conditioning will increase the power bills).
- De Blasio proposed spending $16 million more on legal aid for immigrants facing deportation and immigration charges, which City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito campaigned to get.
- $1.4 million will be spent on zamboni-like trucks to clean sidewalks. Major commercial streets will also get an annual deep-cleaning.
- While President Trump has threatened budget cuts, de Blasio declared, “We’re just not going to be paralyzed by uncertainty.” However, New York City will try to reduce overtime and use office space more efficiently to save money.
What are people saying about the budget?
- Citizens Budget Commission President Carol Kellermann: The budget “should have exhibited more spending restraint.” The new spending “does not demonstrate strategic and sensible prioritization of the City’s investments.”
- David Jones, director of the Community Service Society and de Blasio’s appointee to the MTA board, told AMNewYork: “Fair Fares will go on. I will fight it until my very last breath. We’re taking this fight on for as many years — I’m on the board until 2020. So they’re going to be hearing from me for a long time.”
- Adriene Holder, Legal Aid Society: “Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor de Blasio set a bold example for other sanctuaries across the nation to model – we and our clients laud their leadership.
- City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito: The Council “remains concerned that the Mayor’s proposal does not increase the City’s reserves.”
- City Council Finance Committee Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland commented to Politico: De Blasio “very clearly stated that he felt that Trump’s positions have mostly been overturned by the courts, so he doesn’t necessarily feel that we will feel the impact in the way that was expected. He’s going to wait until the November plan is out to see if there needs to be adjustments — something that was a bit striking.”
- City Council Member Brad Lander: “Save for a rainy day, yes, we are doing that. But make preemptive cuts to deny services to New Yorkers, no way.”
- Glenn Martin, President of JustLeadershipUSA, one of the leaders of the campaign to close Rikers Island, said the budget proves the “continued absence of a concrete plan for closing Rikers.”
- GOP Mayoral candidate Paul Massey: “Bill de Blasio is a terrible manager, so as spending has gone up, the quality of services has gone down.”
Mayor de Blasio’s solution to every problem is tax & spend. Instead of fixing failed programs, he throws good $ after bad. We need results!
— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) April 26, 2017
Update on Rikers Island 5/10/17: