New York City Council Approves $112.4 Billion Budget with Restored Cuts and Additional Funding

The New York City Council has voted to approve a $112.4 billion budget, restoring almost all of the cuts proposed by Mayor Adams and adding approximately $1 billion to his initial proposal made in April. The budget vote, which is legally required to be finalized by June 30, concluded with a tally of 46 in favor and three against.

The approved budget includes measures to restore the city’s public library system budget, reversing $58 million in cuts and enabling the resumption of seven-day-a-week service. The library system had previously closed dozens of branches on Sundays due to the cuts. Additionally, the budget allocates an extra $2 billion for affordable and public housing, restores $20 million to early childhood programs, and includes provisions for more rational funding of the city’s pre-K and 3-K initiatives.

Council Finance Committee Chair Justin Brannan stated, “Reports of New York City’s demise have been greatly exaggerated,” expressing optimism about the budget deal. Council Speaker Adrienne Adams held rallies and applied public pressure to restore the cuts leading up to the agreement. However, Mayor Adams faced criticism for maintaining his proposed cuts for an extended period.

The Council argued that their projections showed most of the cuts, including those affecting the library system, were unnecessary. Prior to casting their votes, several council members criticized the mayor’s management of the city, with Council Member Sandy Nurse stating, “By forcing New Yorkers to fight and scrounge for the bare minimums, he continues to show his inability to properly manage the city.”

The budget vote was met with cheers and fanfare, but Council Speaker Adams emphasized the need to shift focus from restoration to strengthening programs and services that New Yorkers require and deserve.

Mayor Adams had justified the cuts by citing the city’s heavy spending on housing and caring for newly-arrived migrants. The three dissenting votes came from New York City Democratic Socialists members Tiffany Cabán, Alexa Avilés, and Shahana Hanif, who referred to the spending plan as “Eric Adams’ Austerity Budget” and criticized the untouched budget of the NYPD, which exceeds $11 billion.

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