Mayor de Blasio and council president Corey Johnson are finalizing a $ 87 billion budget deal to avoid firing municipalities, while transferring and cutting spending has set aside $ 1 billion from the Police Department budget, The Post has learned.
The agreement – announced to the City Council late Monday night – largely renews cuts to the Hizzoner programs made for summer youth employment programs, counselors for high-income schools and tuition for low-income City University students.
But it also keeps most of the other spending cuts proposed by de Blasio in April intact, while officials try to manage the estimated $ 9 billion deficit of Apple, caused by the outbreak of a coronavirus pandemic and later economic downturn.
Heather’s April budget – when the deficit is estimated at just $ 7 billion – continued the city’s tradition of saving the NYPD from the budget ax even during difficult times.
Just weeks later, George Floyd’s brutal police death in Minneapolis rocked social media, sending tens of thousands of New Yorkers to the streets in protest – the first in a series of dominoes to fall – leaving Hizzoner politically obsessed and completely reshaping the budget debate.
This latest spending plan hopes to respond to calls by protesters to “suspend” the NYPD by cutting and transferring billions of dollars from its budget, four sources confirmed. However, City Hall reached the mark using bookkeeping measures that critics call “tricks”.
School security officers are transferring them back to the Department of Education, transferring $ 307 million from the NYPD budget in the first year. It is also requesting that school protection agents be moved to another as yet undefined agency, making an additional $ 42 million.
In contrast, sources told The Post, City Hall also collected $ 134 million in benefits – such as health care, teeth and eye care – related to those employees to other agencies, and those savings counted toward the $ 1 billion target.
The NYPD should also reduce overtime spending by $ 352 million in 2021 – roughly half of the annual amount that exceeded $ 700 million in each of the last three completed budgets.
Much of the rest of the savings come from reducing the number of classes through the decline and postponement of cadet classes, the sources added.
However, some of the popular programs that de Blasio canceled in April caused their funds to be partially or completely renewed, three sources said:
- The ‘Fair Student’ program, which helps equalize funding between richer and poorer school districts in Gotham, will see that its funding remains flat, instead of facing a $ 100 million cut
- The Ministry of Education’s popular “Individual Shelter Counseling” program is facing an ax, but now has a budget of $ 11 million
- CUNY’s ASAP program to help low-income students in community colleges also noticed much of the reduction, returning funding to roughly last year’s level
And it included $ 100 million to provide programs and employment for city youth during the summer, which largely reverses one of the most controversial cuts from de Blasio’s April budget.
Additionally, sources said the agreement reached between de Blasio and Johnson also avoids layoffs in the municipality’s workforce.
The mayor has publicly warned that 22,000 employees could be arrested if state legislators in Albany do not approve urgent government lending, only for the state senate to reject his request twice.
However, the budget – which must be adopted by Tuesday – will not be easy to sell.
One of these posts showed that 15 out of 50 city lawmakers could oppose the agreement. The council has 51 seats, although one is currently vacant.
“The mayor had two goals for this budget: to maintain security and invest in the youth and our hardest-hit communities – as long as they face the worst fiscal situation the city has had in decades,” said City Assembly Press Secretary Freddie Goldstein, who declined to comment on details. “We believe we have presented a plan that fulfills this mission and look forward to working with the Council to adopt a budget that will help this city strengthen in reconstruction.”
Johnson’s office declined to comment.