New York City budget proposal saves $916 million, de Blasio says

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that the state budget's initial $600 million in funding cuts were reduced to $300 million -- and city agencies used various measures to find a combined $916 million in savings. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Albany reductions will mean more financial work, however, particulary to help the neediest NYers and to improve election systems.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that the state budget's initial $600 million in funding cuts were reduced to $300 million -- and city agencies used various measures to find a combined $916 million in savings.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that the state budget’s initial $600 million in funding cuts were reduced to $300 million — and city agencies used various measures to find a combined $916 million in savings.

Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his updated budget proposal Thursday and said that the city will step in with added funding for necessary services and projects.

The $92.5 billion budget didn’t have many changes from the version that the mayor put out in February, but he said there was some relief from Albany and through city agencies. The state budget’s initial $600 million in funding cuts were reduced to $300 million and city agencies used various measures to find a combined $916 million in savings, according to the mayor.

De Blasio did warn that the Albany reductions would mean more financial work for the city’s budget office, particularly to help the neediest New Yorkers and improve election systems.

"All of those areas cut by the state we are compensating with our own resources," he said.

About $125 million of the Albany cuts went to  the TANF program, which provides assistance to families. The city will also have to fund $96 million for new state election services, including early voting and an electronic voter book.

"We did not expect that all of those costs would be placed on localities," de Blasio said of the election reforms. 

The additional state cuts were for health services and education, according to the mayor. Since his February budget proposal, De Blasio said his office has found $150 million in funding for new needs, including $88 million for mandated charter school costs, and $35 million for pretrial mental health evaluations.

The mayor emphasized that the city does plan on investing $116.9 billion over 10 years on long-term projects. He said that under his proposal, the plan is  to construct the jails in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn by 2026, one year earlier than planned, and at a cost of $8.7 billion.

"Once those borough based facilities are built, we expect them to be multi-generational," de Blasio said. "It will be something the city won’t have to invest in again for generations."

He also noted that the city’s recently announced mandate for larger buildings to reduce their carbon emissions will require $60 million in city funding while census preparation will cost $22 million. De Blasio said city agencies will assist with the census outreach to assist with the work.

The mayor’s updated proposal gave no information on the planned fair fares program, which would provide discounted MetroCards to the neediest New Yorkers. 

The City Council will have to approve of the budget before July 1. 

Ivan Pereira