Mayor, Council Reach Budget Agreement Weeks Ahead of Schedule
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council reached an early budget agreement on Friday night that is chock full of new spending befitting an election-year budget. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says it's the earliest budget agreement in a quarter century.
"The last time the budget handshake occurred this early was 1992," de Blasio said.
The mayor and the City Council agreed to an $85.2 billion budget Friday night, weeks ahead of schedule. The budget is not due until the end of June.
The plan continues a pattern of increased spending by the administration, tacking on pricey projects like gym facilities for all public schools.
It includes more money for senior programs and youth summer jobs, air conditioning in public schools and a property tax exemption for veterans.
"We're particularly proud that its a balanced budget, it's a fiscally disciplined budget, it's a compassionate budget. And one thing we are particularly proud of, it's not just an on-time budget, it's ahead of schedule," de Blasio said.
While early, the agreement is still ceremonial. And it appeared some kinks still had to be worked out.
Take $26 million for lawyers for immigrants facing deportation. The mayor does not want to pay for lawyers for immigrants accused of violent crimes. The Council says the crime shouldn't matter.
"There may be legal services somewhere they deserve, just not with New York City taxpayer dollars," de Blasio said. "We have a difference that is just my philosophical view."
"Our expectation as the City Council is, the program we have put forward is going to continue and move forward in that way," siad City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
They promise they will figure it out later. For now, they will celebrate their early victory.
Of course, like the mayor said, timing is everything. These elected officials can now turn to other topics. In fact, petitioning to get on the ballot starts on Tuesday.