Mayor Adams on Tuesday released his administration’s first executive budget request.
But while the $99.7 billion proposal comes in at $1.2 billion more than his preliminary budget in February, it remains to be seen if the City Council agrees with his bottom line and many of his spending choices. A final plan is due at the end of June.
“There are four main areas that we will focus on as we go forward: protecting our people, growing our economy, uplifting our youth, and building our infrastructure,” Adams said, according to a copy of his speech at Brooklyn’s Kings Theater sent by his office.
“Our new budget reflects those values and provides for them,” he said. “This budget puts people — especially those who have often been left behind — front and center. Success will be measured by how much we accomplish — not how much we spend.”
The proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 balances, but it also forecasts deficits of $3.9 billion, $3.3 billion and 3.7 billion, respectively, over the next three years. Adams called the shortfalls manageable.
Among Adams’ priorities are:
• funding his Blueprint to End Gun Violence;
• $55 million for EMTs and mental health professionals to respond to mental health 911 calls;
• crisis management teams and community violence interrupters;
•$170 million for 1,400 “safe haven” beds for the homeless;
• funding to cut out-of-pocket daycare costs for families of four making $55,000 a year or less from $55 per week to $10;
• increased funding for the NYPD;
• more than 500 more correction officers;
• a record 100,000 Summer Youth Employment slots; and
• $5 billion over 10 years for housing initiatives, including critical repairs at New York City Housing Authority properties.
“Making quality child care more accessible will change lives, help our economy, and support our children and families,” Adams said. “It is a responsibility that too often falls on the women of this city — a story I know all too well, watching my mother having to work two jobs while raising my five siblings and me.”
He said housing “cannot be a privilege for those with supportive families or generational wealth. It is the key to living a good life in the greatest city in the world.
“This must include housing for families, older New Yorkers, people living with disabilities, and those who have experienced homelessness.”
Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica) and Council Finance Committee Chairman Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn), applauded many of the mayor’s priorities for social services and education.
“This confirms that the City has the money to fund crucial services New Yorkers need to thrive, and it represents a step forward in our partnership with Mayor Adams to enact a budget that fosters safer communities,” they said in a press release. “The Council will continue its efforts to secure additional investments in essential areas that require more support to advance our city.”
Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park) said in an email that she is on board. “The Mayor’s commitment to making our city safer, fairer and more equitable is a commitment that this city has been in need of for almost a decade,” she said. “His plan that addresses our homeless population provides dignified safe havens to live while providing much needed mental and physical healthcare. It is the right prescription for, eventually, ending our homeless crisis.”
She also praised Adams for standing up to the left wing of his party with his commitment to law and order.
Andrew Rein, president of the Citizens Budget Commission, expressed some serious reservations in a press release.
“The Executive Budget takes some positive steps but focuses on spending more, nearly to the exclusion of the savings, restructuring, and efficiency needed to shore up the City’s fiscal house,” Rein said.
“Spending more now is seductive, but shortsighted,” he added. “The Council wants to add well over $1 billion in recurring spending. While the Executive Budget supports critical priorities, such as mental health and improving housing and land use processes, the City’s leaders should not pretend the City can have and do it all.”