City Council Approves $78.5 Billion Budget

As predicted, the City Council approved a new budget on Friday. NY1’s Courtney Gross was there and she filed the following report.

Boxes full of budget documents were rolled into City Hall around noon on Friday ready to be picked through by members of the City Council.

As expected, the council overwhelmingly approved the $78.5 billion fiscal plan, which goes into effect July 1. It's an early budget - four days to be exact.

It's a budget which hires 1300 new police officers - far more than the 1000 officers the council originally asked for in its budget negotiations with the de Blasio administration. The mayor had, for months, resisted increasing the NYPD's headcount - that is, until earlier this week.

"The plan we are talking about here is really about the long term," said Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday.

"We've supported an increase in headcount for the police department at the same time we have continued to demand reforms," said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

The increase will bring more officers to the beat in high crime areas, part of the community policing strategy underway at One Police Plaza.

"I supported the additional police officers. Still do," said City Councilman Jumaane Williams.

Considered a good news budget by most, only one member voted against it.

"The solutions for the ailments in our community is not to inflate a system that has not corrected its deficiencies, shortcomings, abuses and yes even allows for the violations of its own policies," said City Councilwoman Inez Barron. "I believe that this designation of $170 million to increase police is a fatal flaw and I vote no."

On top of the cops, the budget adds another week to the city's beach season past Labor Day; more gym teachers and crossing guards; and millions of dollars to add six day service at public libraries.

"Thank you again to my colleagues and have a great, great afternoon," Mark-Viverito said.

And unlike in recent years when the council was voting on the budget in the middle of the night, this year, they were off the chamber floor and out the door by 4 o'clock.

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