Inside the $92.8 billion ‘handshake’ budget pact reached between de Blasio and City Council

Inside the $92.8 billion ‘handshake’ budget pact reached between de Blasio and City Council
Courtesy of Mayor’s office

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson reached an early handshake agreement Friday on a balanced $92.8 billion city budget after weeks of negotiations.

The de Blasio administration claims its budget protects the city’s fiscal health by maintaining record levels of reserves and a “robust citywide savings program.”

The agreement includes funding to place 200 additional social workers in public schools and the city is expanding its commitment to senior housing by adding $275 million between 2020 and 2023 with resources that will help generate an additional 800 affordable senior homes.

“We’ve reached an agreement that promises to create a pathway to pay parity for our early childhood education providers to address recruitment and retention issues, expand services that prevent unnecessary detention and fights the widespread national attack on access to abortion care,” de Blasio said. “We’re also strengthening our support services is schools by providing over 200 social workers for students who need them most, fulfilling our commitment to senior affordable housing and putting our new expanded speed camera into action.”

The City Council and the de Blasio administration have jointly funded justice reform initiatives that address historic disparities in the justice system including an expansion of diversion programs, such as post-arrest diversion, supervised release and transitional housing. In order to make sure every New Yorker is counted in the 2020 Census, the budget provides for outreach staff and public awareness campaigns.

The Council was able to secure increased funding for parks, increased resources for libraries, summer youth programs and trash collection.

“The Council has been focused on securing a responsible, equitable budget for all New Yorker from day one,” Johnson said. “This budget is a result of a united Council fiercely advocating on behalf of our constituents and prioritizing initiatives that will benefit all New Yorkers.”

Johnson added the Council and the de Blasio administration will work together to expand the staffing of the Office of Hate Crimes.

“We’re accomplishing all of this while protecting the city’s fiscal health by increasing savings and adding $250 million to our already historic levels of budget reserves,” de Blasio said. “I want to thank Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Finance Chair Daniel Dromm and the rest of the City Council for their partnership.”

The budget includes more than $300 million in new savings, on top of the $2.5 billion achieved in the citywide savings program over 2019 and 2020, reached primarily through a permanent reduction of 2,600 city-funded positions.

The City Council will have to approve the budget before the fiscal year begins July 1.

“The FY 2020 budget is a progressive and responsible budget that truly delivers for all New Yorkers,” City Councilman Daniel Dromm, Chairman of the Committee on Finance, said. “From increases in funding for our parks and LGBTQ community services to an allocation for additional school social workers, this is a budget in which we can all take pride.”

This story first appeared on QNS.com, one of our sister publications.