Photo Courtesy of Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photography Office
Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced on Monday afternoon that they had arrived at an early “handshake” deal on a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2019.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council leaders on Monday evening announced an agreement for an on-time, balanced, $89.15 billion city budget for Fiscal Year 2019.
According to Council Speaker Corey Johnson, the new plan includes items “to improve the lives of all New Yorkers,” such as $106 million for the Fair Fares discount MetroCards program, increased budget reserves, and prioritizing permanent housing in response to the City’s affordability crisis.
“This is my first budget as Speaker, and I am very proud of what it says about this Council’s priorities,” Johnson added. “We are creating a new approach to fighting poverty with our Fair Fares program, which could save $700 a year for eligible New Yorkers in desperate need of a break. Now that New York City has joined the Fair Fares movement, it is my hope that its success here leads other cities across the country to follow suit. To battle the city’s affordability crisis, we have prioritized permanent housing in a plan that will bring 2,000 units of supportive housing over the next 11 years, and an extra $150 million in Capital funds will go towards making schools handicapped accessible. This budget is the result of the Council working together and prioritizing big ticket items that we know will help New Yorkers in all five boroughs.”
This year’s fiscal pact also includes the expansion of 3-K for All, serving 14,000 students in 12 districts while also providing Fair Student Funding for city schools.
For de Blasio, the agreement reaffirms “our commitment to making New York City fair.”
“I’m going to state something we have to remember each year, a budget is an expression of values and it’s a roadmap for our future and I’m very proud of the relationship with this City Council and the values that are truly shared, deeply shared. That’s part of why we’ve been able to do this work in such great partnership now in the fifth year,” the mayor said. “What I’ve loved about working with this City Council is there’s been a deep desire to get a lot done but also a real strong sense of the bottom line and this Council’s been very focused, this year and in previous years, on adding to reserves and making sure the city was protected for the long run.”
Other FY2019 Budget highlights include:
• $3.5 million for additional litter basket pickup;
• $10.3 million to expand the Summer Youth Employment Program from 70,000 to 75,000 slots;
• A baseline of $8 million for the Comprehensive Afterschool System of New York City and $9 million for adult literacy programs;
• $9.6 million to maintain the City’s parks and $1.7 million to extend the opening of public beaches and pool season for one week past Labor Day;
• $11.4 million for the Crisis Management System, which includes the Cure Violence program;
• $12 million to have every patrol officer wear a body camera by the end of the year.
“This budget is profoundly responsible. It is balanced. It is progressive and it is early,” de Blasio noted. “Congratulations, everyone.”