Mayor Eric Adams has released the largest budget cuts in New York City’s history Wednesday.
CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer says the mayor pledges he’ll still find money for programs to help working New Yorkers.
Libraries, however, will not be cut. The mayor took library cuts off the table to prevent shorter hours and weekend closures.
Adams says he wants to put money in New Yorkers’ pockets with earned income tax credits and reduced fare MetroCards.
It was a good news, bad news budget.
“We had to make tough choices in this budget,” Adams said.
The $106.7 billion budget, the largest in the city’s history, includes two fiscal problems: the need to spend $4.3 billion to care for the 57,000 asylum seekers who have come to the city, and the estimated $16 billion cost of negotiating labor contracts with city workers.
So far only two unions — DC 37 and the PBA — have inked labor deals. The mayor passionately defended the generous deals and those still to come.
“PBA went years without a contract. DC 37 employees have been underpaid. I mean, let’s be honest about this, they’ve been underpaid,” Adams said. “This is an investment into our workforce, an investment into our people, ’cause when you pay your people well, they go spend money in the communities, they’re able to do their job without the stress of knowing that they can’t afford what they’re doing.”
The mayor said even though he trimmed the budgets of city agencies by $1.6 billion, he will still be able to find money to fund a host of programs to improve the lives of working New Yorkers.
“We’re not forsaking New Yorkers from all walks of life who need our help. We cannot remain a beacon of hope if we turn our backs on people struggling with mental health challenges,” Adams said.
The mayor still has to negotiate budget deal with the City Council, which wants to spend billions more than the mayor has allotted.
The final budget will have to be worked out by the July 1 deadline.