Highlights include increased investments in our schools, youth, seniors and veterans
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and members of the City Council today announced an agreement for an on-time and balanced City budget for Fiscal Year 2018, marking the earliest handshake since 1992. The agreement on an approximately $85.2 billion budget builds on the Administration’s ambitious plan for investing in our public schools, youth workforce development, seniors and veterans, while protecting and strengthening the City’s long-term fiscal health.
The FY18 Adopted Budget accounts for $1.2 billion in General Reserve, $4.2 billion in Retiree Health Benefits Trust Fund and $250 million in the Capital Stabilization Reserve. This allows the City to retire debt in the face of potential federal cuts or an economic downturn. The Adopted Budget also recognizes $100 million in savings from the partial hiring freeze, as well as debt service savings.
“This budget is aimed at addressing the economic realities of everyday New Yorkers,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Life in this city is too hard for too many, but with this budget it is our goal to alleviate some of those pressures. We are adding 5,000 additional Summer Youth Employment slots, creating a property tax exemption for veterans how have fought for this country, and eliminating the waitlists for senior case management and home care. We’re doing this all while maintaining the fiscal responsibility raters and monitors have come to expect and adding to our rainy day reserves.”
Among a variety of initiatives, today’s agreement includes:
· $105.53 million in capital funding and $1.8 million in expense to ensure Universal Physical Education by 2021.
· $23 million to eliminate the Home Care and Case Management waitlists, create a new program to offer relief to caregivers, provide weekend meals to seniors utilizing Senior Centers or the Home Delivered Meals programs, and enhance rates paid to senior centers.
· A Veterans Property Tax Exemption for any veteran who served during a war, saving an average of $443 per year, per person at a cost to the city of $25 million annually.
· $20 million to provide 6,500 year-round jobs through the Work, Learn and Grow.
· $9 million to expand the Summer Youth Employment Program from 65,000 to 70,000 slots.
· $30 million in FY18 growing to $104 million in FY22 to provide enhanced resources and support to our nonprofit service providers.
· $6.4 million to continue deployment of rapid-response “Fly Cars” in the Bronx, continue strategic placement of emergency vehicles in high-need locations, place EMS personnel at Bronx hospitals, and $17 million in capital to replace the existing EMS 17 facility.
· $7.2 million – an increase of 15% from last year’s spending – for the Emergency Food Assistance Program to address the projected demand.
· $2.1 million to expand Breakfast in Classrooms to an additional 303 buildings, bringing the total to 833.
· $10.4 million to expand the Free School Lunch program in schools.
· $110 million to assist with capital projects in libraries across the city.
Budget monitors have validated the judicious way in which this administration has protected the City’s fiscal health. As recently as February, all three major rating agencies affirmed the City’s strong, stable ratings.