LIU STATEMENT ON MAYOR’S EXECUTIVE BUDGET
“In this challenging economic environment one of the best ways to maintain critical services for New Yorkers like daycare, fire protection, and libraries is to strengthen our fight against the waste of taxpayer funds and wasted subsidies to large corporations.”
Statement by Council Member Annabel Palma
In Response to the Mayor’s FY13 Executive Budget Proposal
The Executive Budget outlined by Mayor Bloomberg this afternoon is extremely disheartening. This budget again underfunds vital services and programs that benefit low- and moderate-income New Yorkers and includes the loss of child care and after-school services for approximately 47,000 children. This is simply unacceptable.
Of particular concern, are the continued drastic cuts to child care and after-school programs, which are slated to lose approximately $170 million combined. The Executive Budget proposes just 26,000 child care slots, down from over 53,000 in FY09. The Executive Budget also offers only 27,000 after-school slots through the City’s OST program, down from approximately 85,000 in FY09. These programs offer critical early childhood educational opportunities that have been proven to enhance students’ academic futures. Moreover, they provide safe and affordable care that allow parents to stay in the workforce and stay off of public assistance. At this point, far too few working people have access to these critical services and this budget will only continue to bleed the system.
Another area of serious concern is the approximately $6.2 million in cuts to the HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) that will devastate supportive housing and nutritional programs that literally save lives. While this may save the City money in the short-term, it will only shift these individuals into programs that are more costly in the long-term. The City Council has continually restored cuts to these programs over the last couple years, but the Administration has again chosen not to baseline this funding.
The Mayor has often sought to portray himself as a fiscal conservative who has taken an axe to wasteful spending. However, the reality is that the programs slated for cuts in this year’s budget are programs that invest in low- and moderate-income people and serve as key tools for promoting economic growth. Once again, it will fall on the shoulders of the City Council to engage the Administration in negotiating a responsible budget that will make necessary investments in our City’s future.