Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the City Council announced an agreement on a budget for the 2022 fiscal year, which includes additional funding for police a year after the NYPD was “defunded.”
The $98.7 billion ‘Recovery Budget’ is intended to bolster the city’s economic recovery from the pandemic and expand social programs, and is partly funded by $14.2 billion in federal aid.
“The Recovery Budget is a radical investment in working families. It will drive economic growth in every neighborhood, all while building on strong reserves and investing stimulus funds aggressively to put the pandemic behind us, once and for all,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “This budget is a historic investment in New York City and it’s exactly how we will achieve a recovery for all of us.”
The budget builds on the city’s coronavirus response, which the city already spent $8 billion on, with investments in healthcare infrastructure, the vaccine program, and expanding the city’s biomedical sector.
The city created a ‘Rainy Day’ savings fund up to nearly $1 billion to maintain budget reserves in case of emergency. The city’s total budget reserves are $5.1 billion, with $3.8 billion in the Retiree Health Benefits Trust, $993 million in the Rainy Day Fund, and $300 million in the General Reserve.
Despite dire economic warnings due to the pandemic, the city’s tax revenues exceeded expectations in the fiscal year for 2021 by $2.1 billion, due to growth in personal income tax and corporate tax receipts.
“We’re going to bring our economy back, bring our small businesses back, approaches like Business Quick Start to help businesses come back faster than ever, the mayor said at his press conference on Wednesday. “All the pieces that will build an economy strong in all five boroughs.”
To help small business, the recovery budget commits $11 million to NYC Business Quick Start, a program that helps small business owners navigate regulations and red tape. An educational program to train people in manufacturing, the Advanced Manufacturing Career Collective, will be funded with $4 million.
The police and violence-prevention budget includes millions for hundreds more police officers, as well as violence-prevention programs that help at-risk youth find employment and support and help parolees find jobs and housing, rather than falling back on crime.
$4 million worth of community college scholarships will be distributed to low-income New Yorkers, as well as fund summer school and learning programs in public school to overcome the educational losses incurred during the pandemic.
The budget includes $30 million for a city-wide cleaning corps and to promote tourism, a vital industry and job provider for New York City.