The newspaper learned that Mayor de Palacio and Council Chairman Corrie Johnson were finalizing a $ 87 billion budget deal that would avoid layoffs from the municipality while dividing $ 1 billion from the police department’s budget through transfers and spending cuts.
The agreement – which was notified to the City Council late on Monday evening – largely restores Hizzoner’s cuts to summer youth employment programs, high-school school counselors and study aid for low-income City University students.
But it also maintains the bulk of other spending cuts proposed by Di Palacio in April, while officials are trying to get past the $ 9 billion deficit that has resulted from the Corona virus pandemic and subsequent economic closures.
Hizzoner’s April budget – when he estimated the deficit at just $ 7 billion – continued the city’s tradition of sparing New York police from the budget ax even in difficult times.
Just weeks later, George Floyd’s brutal police death in custody in Minneapolis was killed on social media, as he sent tens of thousands of New Yorkers to the street in protest – the first in a series of dominoes to fall – leaving Heisoner politically besieged and paraphrasing the entire budget debate .
Four sources confirmed that this latest spending plan hopes to respond to the demonstrators’ calls to “cancel the funding” of the New York police by cutting a billion dollars and transferring it from its budget. However, City Hall hit the mark using accounting measures that critics have described as “scams”.
It transfers school safety officers to the Department of Education, and transfers $ 307 million from the New York Police budget in the first year. It also calls for the transfer of school safety agents to another unspecified agency, representing another $ 42 million.
Controversially, sources told The Post, City Hall also said that $ 134 million in additional benefits – such as healthcare, dentistry and eyes – are associated with these employees to other agencies, and those savings have been calculated toward a $ 1 billion goal.
The New York Police are also supposed to cut their additional spending by $ 352 million in 2021 – nearly half of their annual expenditures, which exceed $ 700 million in each of the last three completed budgets.
The sources added that most of the remaining savings come from reducing the number of department employees through attrition and delaying students ’lessons.
However, some of the popular programs that de Blasio cut off in April saw their funding either partially or completely restored, three sources said:
- The “Fair Student” program that helps equalize funding between the richer and poorer school principals will keep its funding steady, instead of facing $ 100 million cut
- The mentorship counselor program “The Ministry of Individual Education” provided by the Ministry of Education to schools with special needs faced an ax, but it has now returned to its budget of $ 11 million.
- ASAP’s CUNY assistance program for low-income students in community colleges also saw a major reversal of its cuts, and money back to nearly the level of last year
And there is $ 100 million included to provide programming and employment for the city’s youth during the summer, which largely reflects one of the most controversial cuts from Di Palacio’s budget for April.
In addition, the sources said, the deal between Di Palacio and Johnson also avoids layoffs in the municipal workforce.
The mayor has publicly warned that 22,000 employees can be dismissed unless Albanian state legislators approve the emergency lending authority, only to see the state’s upper house reject his request twice.
However, the budget – which must be passed by Tuesday – will not be easy to sell.
And one of the statistics seen by The Post showed that 15 of the city’s 50 lawmakers might oppose the agreement. The number of council seats is 51, although one seat is currently vacant.
“The mayor has had two goals for this budget: keeping safety, investing in our hardest-hit youth and communities – all while facing the toughest financial situation the city has seen in decades,” said City Hall press secretary Freddy Goldstein. Comment on details. “We believe we have submitted a plan to accomplish this task and we look forward to working with the council to pass a budget that helps this city to rebuild stronger.”
Johnson’s office declined to comment.