Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and members of the City Council reached an historic agreement for an on-time and balanced New York City budget for Fiscal Year 2017, marking completion of the earliest budget deal since 2001.
The agreement on an approximately $82.1 billion budget targets investments to cultural organizations and libraries, youth workforce development and public safety, while strengthening the city’s long-term fiscal health through the bolstering of unprecedented reserve funds, according to a statement from the Mayor’s Office. The final budget is a 9.5 percent increase from last year, and 17.5 percent higher than 2014, former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s last year in office.
“This budget is not only on time—it’s the earliest agreement since 2001, because the administration and Council worked together to produce tangible, timely results for New Yorkers. We’ll grow to 60,000 slots in our Summer Youth Employment Program, continue six-day library service, invest in our cultural institutions, provide our district attorneys with the funds they need to continue combating crime and addressing heroin and prescription drug use, all while protecting the City’s fiscal health,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Thank you to Speaker Mark-Viverito and all of her colleagues in the Council for their partnership as we reached this agreement.”
De Blasio said the budget will help those most in need of help. "We are the government of last resort," de Blasio said in his budget address earlier this year. "Whether that means taking care of undocumented folks, people who are poor, and the homeless—state and federal government can walk away; we're left to deal with this situation...In the event of an economic crisis, I guarantee you the state and federal government will close their doors quickly."
The agreement, which includes all told about $440 million in savings, also allocates $39 million for summer youth employment; $21 million to keep public library hours extended and open six days a week; $22 million in emergency food assistance; $10 million for cultural organizations; $17.6 million for elementary after-school programming for 9,000 children; $3 million for the Vision Zero initiative public outreach campaign; and $1.7 million to extend beach and pool season past Labor Day; an additional $21 million in capital funds for new snow removal equipment, focused on increasing responsiveness on smaller, narrow streets after complaints that the city had dropped the ball on clearing streets in Queens following this past winter’s snowstorms.