NYC budget: Millions in library, cultural funding restored as Mayor Adams, City Council inch closer to deal

Mayor Adams and Speaker Adams restore library funding to NYC budget
Mayor Eric Adams and Speaker Adrienne Adams announcing a deal on the Fiscal Year 2024 budget in June 2023.
File Photo by Dean Moses

Millions of dollars in funding for the city’s cultural institutions and public libraries will be restored in a NYC budget deal expected to be unveiled Friday, Mayor Eric Adams and City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams jointly announced.

After months of wrangling over the cuts, which Hizzoner made in the name of balancing the city’s finances, the pair agreed to restore $53 million to the city’s cultural institutions — via the Cultural Institutions Group and Cultural Development Fund — as well as $58 million to the New York, Brookly and Queens Public Libraries

A source directly familiar with the budget negotiations told amNewYork Metro a handshake deal between the mayor and speaker is expected on Friday, just two days before the June 30 deadline for passing the Fiscal Year 2025 spending plan.

“These institutions are a critical part of New York City’s social fabric, which New Yorkers depend on for their children’s growth and the vibrancy of our city,” the mayor said in a statement. “The budget will ensure these essential institutions will have what they need to serve New Yorkers and attract visitors every day of the week.”

The reversal, which came after months of public pressure from City Council members and advocates, marks a major concession for the mayor. 

Lawmakers and advocates consistently highlighted the devastating impact of the already enacted cuts and what further reductions could mean — cutting programs at cultural institutions and days of service at public libraries. The renewed dollars will allow public libraries to restore seven-day service at most branches.

“The Council has consistently championed funding restorations for these institutions as a top priority, and we’re proud to reach an agreement with Mayor Adams and the administration to successfully secure these critical investments for them in the city budget,” Speaker Adams said in a statement.

The administration also committed to baselining $43 million of library funding — meaning they will not be subject to budget negotiations next year, according to a report from the news site Gothamist.