Progressive and Fiscally Responsible $85.2 Billion Agreement Invests in Vulnerable New Yorkers and Uplifts Neighborhoods Across the 5 Boroughs

New York – Today, the New York City Council voted to adopt the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, a balanced and responsible agreement reflecting progressive ideals and focused on protecting the vulnerable while uplifting all New Yorkers. Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Committee on Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and Mayor Bill de Blasio reached agreement earlier this month after extensive negotiations and a comprehensive committee review process involving several municipal officials and community stakeholders. The budget totals $85.2 billion and features over $100 million in savings over previous fiscal years, as well as a growth of $300 million in city reserves.

“The FY 2018 budget stands to enhance resources to our most essential community programs and uplift New Yorkers across each of the five boroughs,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “In the last year of the 2014-17 City Council session, members and advocates have worked in collaboration to continue our record of producing a budget that is balanced, on-time and constructive for New York City residents. For this round of negotiations, that has meant increasing slots in our Summer Youth Employment Program to 70,000, directing revenue to improve financial conditions for our veterans and outfit our FDNY emergency personnel with an additional set of fireproof footwear, and baselining valuable programs like those serving vulnerable local populations. This financial plan would not have been possible without the full participation of the City Council and administration, and I thank my colleagues, Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, and Mayor de Blasio for their outstanding commitment to a transparent and productive budget process.”

“As the Speaker and I deliver our last budget, we can look back on the Council’s budgetary accomplishments and say with confidence that we have not only improved the budget process for future legislators but leveled the playing field for hundreds of thousands of families in New York City,” said Committee on Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. “Over the last four years, the Council has put an end to the “budget dance” and focused on funding some of the most consequential initiatives like legal defense for immigrant families. After 20 years of no enhancement, we expanded funding for Beacon Programs. And we established a year-round employment program for youth that will improve the career outcomes of our communities of color. These accomplishments have contributed to a fairer city. I am proud of the FY18 budget because it was an inclusive and transparent process and it will truly serve the needs of New Yorkers from the immigrant family to the single mom, to the business owner and property owner. Serving as your Finance Chair has been the privilege of a lifetime, and I thank my community, colleagues, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor de Blasio for their support and collaboration.”

Strengthening Families in Uncertain Times

From the students in our public schools system, to their parents contributing to our robust economy, families are the backbone of New York City. This budget helps them to thrive. FY2018 budget is intent on providing for the needs of our youngest residents and their caregivers.

  • $18.4 million expansion of the Emergency Food Assistance Programs
  • $4 million in continued support for the Nurse Family Partnership
  • $14.8 million in investment for Special Childcare Vouchers
  • $12.5 million expansion of the Free School Breakfast and Lunch programs
  • $16 million to maintain COMPASS afterschool initiative
  • $100 million in capital funding for improvements to public library systems

“Making schools and curriculum inclusive of all students including those who identify as LGBT has been a top priority of this Council and I am proud we were able to secure almost $1 million in funding for this purpose in the Fiscal ’18 budget,” said Committee on Education Chair Daniel Dromm. “In total there will be an increase of over $12 million in education spending by the Council, again demonstrating a commitment to ensuring every child receives a quality education.  By increasing Teachers Choice funding, we acknowledge and give a small reimbursement to the teachers who perform miracles every day in our city’s classrooms and spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars yearly out of their pocket for school supplies for our students.  I thank Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, Council Finance Chairperson Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and my colleagues for supporting these important education initiatives.”

“As the Chair of the Committee of Cultural Affairs and Libraries, I am proud to say that this year’s budget includes record funding for our most democratic of institutions that serve all New Yorkers: our libraries and organizations big and small that create and support arts and culture,” said Majority Leader and Committee on Cultural Affairs Chair Jimmy Van Bramer. “With $110 million in capital funding for libraries and nearly $20 million in additional operating support for arts and cultural organizations, our budget demonstrates our dedication to the millions of New Yorkers who find meaning, inspiration, and peace in our public libraries and through the creation and enjoyment of arts and culture. Congratulations to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Finance Chair Ferreras-Copeland and my colleagues in the City Council for building a budget that protects our progress and honors our values.”

“New York City is one of the wealthiest cities in the world, yet one in five children relies on soup kitchens and food pantries,” said Council Member Barry Grodenchik. “I fought hard for emergency food funding because ensuring that all New Yorkers receive nutritious and high-quality food must always be a top priority. The eighteen million dollars that this budget provides for emergency food will help alleviate the hunger being felt by too many hard-working New Yorkers.”

Tackling Inequality and Advancing Fairness in Our City

Over the course of four years, the Council has successfully negotiated with the administration to double the number of jobs in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). The FY 2018 budget includes an unprecedented 70,000 jobs for young people across the five boroughs.

  • $19 million in additional funding to the Work, Learn, Grow Year Round Youth Jobs Program, amounting to an extra job openings for city young people
  • $22 million to restore the Teacher’s Choice Program

“I am proud of the investment we are making in our city’s youth as reflected in the FY 2018 budget,” said Committee on Youth Services Chair Mathieu Eugene. “By increasing funding towards programs that encourage employment, we are helping more of our young men and women enter the work force and instilling in them a sense of discipline and self-worth. I would like to thank my colleagues in the City Council for their support of youth employment initiatives, and I look forward to exploring new paths for growth in the coming year.”

“I am proud that by working together, 70,000 Summer Youth Employment (the maximum the current system could handle) slots were baselined, which is up from 60,000 last year and almost double from 4 years ago,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams. “Since the beginning of negotiations, the Council once again made clear Youth Employment was a central priority – both Summer Youth and Year Round employment which was also increased. Our continued progress gives me hope that one day our City will enact universal summer youth employment programs. Every research data on this issue shows that employing young people means stronger families, crime reductions and – literally, our children remaining alive. I look forward to building the structure so we can provide for every young person who applies.”

Protecting and Investing in Vulnerable New Yorkers

In the current political climate, a central role of the City Council is to protect the most vulnerable residents. That includes children, the elderly, the sick, and the immigrant community. This budget makes substantial investments to support all.

  • Over $20 million in funding for the Veterans Tax Exemption
  • $12 million in allocations for Adult Literacy programs
  • $10 million for the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project
  • $2 million in funding for the Unaccompanied Minors Initiative
  • Continued funding for the Immigrant Healthcare Initiative

“New York City’s 2018 budget is the result of extensive City Council hearings and negotiations with the Mayor’s administration,” said Committee on Immigration Carlos Menchaca. “Our proposed budget is fiscally responsible, and focuses on services that sustain communities. It reaffirms our commitment to immigrants, youth, seniors and veterans.  We have expanded school nutrition programs, library funding and protections for children. Seniors will see improved homecare, weekend meals, case management and a new caregiver support program. The organizations that deliver essential human services in our neighborhoods will receive a desperately needed increase in City contract funding. I am proud our balanced 2018 budget upholds Sanctuary City values and continues or expands funding for programs I have promoted including adult literacy and a variety of legal services for immigrants and families facing deportation.”

“While it is widely known that my Council colleagues and I do not always agree on budget priorities, we have all been steadfast in our support for New York City’s veterans,” said Minority Leader Steven Matteo. “The alternative property tax exemption for veterans that is included in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget agreement will provide those New Yorkers who served and sacrificed for our country with some financial relief they unquestionably deserve, and undoubtedly need in a city that is becoming less and less affordable. I am proud to have shepherded this important legislation through the City Council, and thank the Mayor and the Speaker for their efforts to make this happen.”

Promoting Excellence and Facilitating Efficiency in Agency Operations

New York City features the largest set of municipal departments and agencies in the nation, including a roster of city employees totaling in the hundreds of thousands. The organizations highlighted for investment include those serving first responders, youth, and homeless populations.

  • $4 million to provide fire fighters with a second pair of boots
  • $2.9 million investment toward modernizing the Board of Elections
  • $2.67 million to expand the law enforcement division of the Human Rights Commission
  • $12.7 million for model budgets for the Administration for Children’s Services contracts, runaway homeless youth shelter operators and adult protective services contracts
  • Support for frontline social service providers by increasing the rate for Human Service Contracts by 10% over 5 years, for a total of $70 million

“More than just dollars and cents, our budget represents our ideals,” said Committee on General Welfare Chair Stephen Levin. “In a time of uncertainty, our financial commitment to our most vulnerable New Yorkers is important now more than ever. That’s why I’m so proud of this budget’s support of the safety net so many New Yorkers rely on. The substantial increases to model budgets for ACS, runaway homeless youth shelter operators, and adult protective services contracts highlight our City’s commitment to provide shelter, safety, and opportunity when it’s needed the most.”

“I am pleased to see this budget allocation because our firefighters need to be quick and steady on their feet, and must have adequate protection while working in an emergency,” said Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services Chair Elizabeth Crowley. “The FDNY responds to hundreds of calls every day, and this second pair of boots will ensure they can perform their best to protect New Yorkers. I’d like to thank City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the City Council’s Finance Committee Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland for their leadership and commitment to the people of New York City.”

“In an uncertain time, this budget had two imperatives:  To safeguard the City’s fiscal health in the face of possible federal cuts, while at the same time protecting the New Yorkers that those potential cuts put at risk,” said Committee on Contracts Chair Helen Rosenthal. “Thanks to the leadership of Speaker Mark-Viverito and Chair Ferreras-Copeland, this budget does both. I am especially proud that we are making critical investments in the human services sector, with increased wages for 180,000 workers and  changes to the way we fund nonprofits in order to protect the 2.5 million New Yorkers they serve.”

“In New York City, we all have the right to be who we are, free from hate and discrimination. NYC’s human rights law is the strongest in the country, and the NYC Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) has made great progress on meeting the needs of the City’s underserved communities and vulnerable residents,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “As President Trump continues to endorse policies of bias, xenophobia and hate, it is now more important than ever to expand CCHR’s capacity to enforce anti-discrimination laws at the local level. Today, the City Council voted increase the City’s Commission on Human Rights by $2.67 million, which will help shrink the backlog of discrimination cases at the agency and ensure that no matter where you’re from, how you worship, or who you love, you have the right to live, work, play, and pray without discrimination.”

“I am proud that this budget will include integral funding for Board of Elections upgrades,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “It is imperative that we modernize the way our city oversees the voting process by ensuring that we are prepared to move forward, even in the case of emergency circumstances. We need a process that is accessible for all voters. Increasing translation services at poll sites means creating a fairer, more equitable voting process so all voters can take advantage of the treasured American right and responsibility to make their voices heard. I thank Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito, and my colleagues for their work on this important budget victory.”

Essential Resources for the Aged Community

The FY2018 budget features a $22.89 million baseline increase for Department for the Aging senior service offerings, representing a substantial interest in serving over one million New Yorkers of advanced age.

  • $10 million for senior center operations
  • $6.5 million toward increasing Homecare Services
  • $1.2 million in funding to improve Case Management Services
  • $1.2 million to extend the Weekend Meals Program
  • $4 million to launch a new Caregiver Support Program

“With a nearly $23 million increase in funding for core senior services, 2018 is truly the Year of the Senior,” said Committee on Aging Chair Margaret Chin. “This budget will ensure permanent funding so senior centers can hire staff for programs, allow low income older adults to take home an additional meal for the weekend, provide caregivers the support they deserve, and make sure seniors do not have to wait for case management and home care services. I applaud Speaker Mark-Viverito and Finance Chair Ferreras-Copeland for their leadership throughout the budget process and I hope to continue working with the Administration to further strengthen the senior social safety net for years to come.”