Mayor Eric Adams unveiled his massive financial plan — standing at over $102 billion, including funding for affordable housing, public safety and green jobs.
Some of the programs set to be expanded include streamlining the process to build more housing, as well as making both schools and streets safer.
Notably, the budget does not include new cuts to the Education Department. The funding will remain at $160 million-dollars. School cuts were unexpectedly made last year and approved by the City Council.
“But we heard from families that some schools need more time to adjust in order to avoid disruptions to students. So despite the fiscal challenges, we have added an additional $80 million to that funding pool for fiscal year 2024,” Adams said.
Adams noted that a major highlight of the budget has been savings. The city reserves currently stand at over $8 billion, which he attributed to his vacancy reduction plan, which cut vacancy positions by 50% across city agencies.
“Some will argue that vacancy reduction results in agencies not being able to do their jobs. Don’t believe them,” Adams said in citing criticism he’s received for his aggressive tactics for keeping the city’s budget light.
“We are focused on governing efficiently and measuring success not by how much we spend, but by our achievements,” he added.
One of the challenges the city continues to face is providing shelter and other resources to the wave of asylum seekers. As of December, the city has spent an estimated $366 million.
“New Yorkers will be left footing the bill. Now and in the future,” Adams said.
Adams’ budget announcement came just hours after the City Council set the groundwork for a budget fight over previous cuts to essential areas.
City Council leaders noted that the mayor had cut millions in funding for public colleges, social services, libraries and early childhood education that they planned to fight for in the upcoming year.
In a statement City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and the council's finance committee chair, City Councilmember Justin Brannan, said, “We will not allow our city to be damaged by the undermining of city agencies and services that meet the essential needs of all New Yorkers. We are committed to delivering for New Yorkers, and we are prepared to fight to realize our vision in this year’s budget.”
Adams met with City Council members earlier in the day. Sources said the talks went well, and that it is a starting point for negotiations.