NYC Passes $101 Billion Budget, Millions for Community Organizations

City Hall building of New York City, 123rf

By Matis Glenn

NEW YORK — The New York City Council overwhelmingly passed a $101.1 billion budget late Monday, on the heels of an unofficial agreement reached last week between Mayor Eric Adams and Council Speaker Adrienne Adams.

The 2023 budget will be $2.4 billion more than 2022, formerly the largest on record.

Earned income tax credits have been expanded by $250 million, the city’s reserves will be raised to $8.3 billion, and $3 billion will be allocated to the city’s labor reserve, ahead of negotiations with labor contractors.

Through the efforts of Councilman Kalman Yeger, over $2.5 million in funding was secured for organizations that are active in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community. Those include Hatzalah, Bais Yaakov of Boro Park, Boro Park Day Cares, Agudath Israel, COJO Flatbush, Boro Park JCC, Chasdei Lev and the New York Cancer Center.

Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, also of Brooklyn, announced on social media that the budget includes funding for Yad Ephraim and the Flatbush Community Fund.  She also said that Speaker Adams approved her request for additional discretionary funding – totally almost $8 million – to be allocated to Brighton and Mellot playgrounds, and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

Passed close to midnight Monday, the budget also includes increases in funding for the Summer Youth Employment Program (known as Youth Corp), discounted MetroCards for lower income New Yorkers, money for the expansion of homeless shelters, and more trash collections at city litter baskets.

“This is a ‘get stuff done’ budget that delivers on key shared priorities,” Mayor Adams said in a statement, invoking his administration’s motto.

The budget cuts $600 million from the Department of Education, but Mayor Adams defended the move, citing a rollback of pandemic-related costs and lower student enrollment.

The first budget passed under the administration of Mayor Adams, who campaigned on a tough-on-crime platform, essentially keeps NYPD funding flat, with an increase of only $90 million out of a total budget of $5.5 billion. The New York Post reports that the increase will go mostly to cover contract-mandated salary raises.

Mayor Adams’ January estimates had the initially proposed budget set $2.6 billion less than the final amount.

Of the Council’s 50 members, only six — progressives Alexa Avilés, Chi Ossé, Charles Barron, Sandy Nurse, Tiffany Cabán and Kristin Richardson Jordan — voted no on the budget. According to media reports, those six members were left out of the speaker’s list of recipients of additional discretionary funding. “You can’t vote no and take the dough,” an anonymous councilmember told the Daily News.

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