City Hall, NY— Today, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Finance Committee Chair Daniel Dromm, Capital Budget Subcommittee Chair Vanessa Gibson and the City Council released the Council’s response to the Mayor’s Fiscal 2020 Preliminary Budget, a fiscally responsible plan that safeguards the city’s financial future and secures the city’s social safety net for New Yorkers. These recommendations focus on the City Council’s vision to provide resources for New Yorkers while building the City’s reserves. Specifically, the City Council is calling on the Administration to boost budget reserves by $250 million. The City Council has also identified close to $1 billion in savings between Fiscal 2019 and Fiscal 2020.

The budget response is the culmination of more than 30 committee hearings, where the Council heard directly from the leaders of 55 agencies, and hundreds of hours of public testimony.

The proposals and recommendations the Council is urging to be included in the Fiscal 2020 Executive Budget include:

Support Wage Equity and Human Services Providers

In order to sustain the current system of contracting out so many of our social services and to ensure pay parity for the human services workforce, the Council urges the Administration to add $106 million to increase human services providers’ indirect cost rates, $89 million to increase day care worker salaries, $5 million to support Assistant District Attorneys, and $15 million to increase wages for indigent defense attorneys.

Bolster the City’s Reserves and Safeguarding our Future

The City needs sufficient reserves in case of an economic downturn to avoid service cuts and raising taxes. In recognition of this, the Council is proposing to boost the City’s reserves by $250 million. Additionally, to avoid losing federal funds, the Council calls for $40 million to ensure the City gets an accurate count on the upcoming 2020 Census.

Invest in our Schools and Improve Security

Public schools should be brought to their Fair Student Funding level to meet the academic needs of the more than 1.1 million public school students. The Council calls for $200 million for Fair Student funding; $90 million for the redesign and expansion of the Comprehensive After School System, also known as COMPASS, which will double the number of slots from 47,000 to 100,000; $240 million for security cameras in all schools; and $50 million for bathroom renovations.

Protect New Yorkers in Need

As part of the City Council’s vision to provide the appropriate resources for the many different needs that New Yorkers have, the Council has included proposals to strengthen our city and our citizens. Among those proposals are $16.5 million for the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) to help New Yorkers facing deportation; $11.7 to improve senior meals and support senior center kitchen staff; $20 million to increase the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene supportive housing; $1 million to expand child care services at CUNY; and $10 million for Fair Futures, a first-in-the-nation long-term support system for foster youth. The Council also calls for a $4.9 million allocation for 57 social workers, one for each of the Department of Homeless Services contracted hotels that house families with children.

Ensure Fairness in the Justice System

The City Council wants to expand the pre-arraignment programming and calling for $2.2 million, increase the NYPD Collision Investigation Unit and expand evidence collection teams with $1.2 million in funding, open a community justice center in Far Rockaway, and prioritize Department of Homeless Services Peace Officers for Crisis Intervention Training.

Build for Tomorrow

The Council is calling for $3.1 billion in capital funds to address, among other priorities, NYCHA’s long-term capital needs, prioritizing permanent housing under the Housing New York plan, install 50 miles of protected bike lanes and 30 miles of bus lanes per year, and doubling the Department of Transportation’s pedestrian plaza program.

Promote Budget Accountability

The Council asks the Administration to increase the number of units of appropriations and capital budget lines, create a comprehensive capital project tracking system, and establish a NYC Ferry Budget Report.

For the complete budget response, click here.

“The recommendations in our budget response highlight our commitment to strengthening the city’s social safety net while maintaining fiscal prudence. The budget response points to what this Council’s priorities are, which include investing in our schools, safeguarding our future, promoting budget accountability and protecting New Yorkers. Our main focus is helping New Yorkers, especially those who need it the most,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson in his second budget response. “I am very proud of all the work my colleagues and staff did who spent countless hours, late nights and weekends preparing this budget response.” 

“After much hard work, the Council has succeeded in devising a budget response that is both responsible and takes care of New York’s neediest,” said Finance Committee Chair Daniel Dromm. “Our balanced budget ensures that the major priorities of last year’s progressive budget are again included and, in some instances, enhanced in this budget response. While much negotiation must take place until we reach an agreement, I look forward to working with Speaker Johnson to achieve a budget that will serve all New Yorkers.”

“I am proud to join with Speaker Corey Johnson and Finance Chair, Daniel Dromm, as we release the City Council’s Budget Response to the Mayor’s Preliminary Plan for FY 2020. Although we achieved some success in last year’s adopted budget related to Capital, the Subcommittee on Capital remains focused on continued improvements to the City’s Capital Commitment Plan. We believe that the Commitment Plan must be more transparent and include more descriptive budget lines. In addition, the Ten-year Capital Strategy must fully address planned investments and the long-term needs beyond Fiscal 2026 and be reflective of ten years of true capital planning. All capital projects should be accessible for all New Yorkers and we believe the Administration should implement capital management strategies to achieve this and fulfill the School Construction Authority’s Path to Travel law. In the midst of a homelessness crisis, the Administration must further prioritize more permanent housing for homeless New Yorkers under Housing New York and address the long term capital needs of NYCHA. Joining my colleagues, we are calling for broader improvements to the capital planning process, the capital management system, identifying additional long-term capital needs, further reducing excess appropriations, adding more descriptive budget lines and increasing transparency. I want to thank Speaker Corey Johnson, Finance Chair Daniel Dromm, Finance Director Latonia McKinney and the entire Finance Division for their hard work and look forward to working with my Colleagues and the Administration during this budget process as we work towards an adopted budget that reflects our collective priorities for all New Yorkers,” said Capital Budget Subcommittee Chair Vanessa Gibson.