The $88.19 billion budget reduces spending and restructures the NYPD while restoring $700 million in programs and initiatives that the de Blasio Administration had cut in the Executive Budget
City Hall, NY – Speaker Corey Johnson, Finance Committee Chair Daniel Dromm, and Capital Budget Subcommittee Chair Vanessa Gibson on Tuesday announced an agreement on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget. The Fiscal Year 2021 Adopted Budget includes $837 million in cuts and transfers to the New York Police Department (NYPD) expense budget. When combined with associated costs, these cuts remove $1 billion from the NYPD’s spending. This was a hard-fought battle, which marks the beginning of the Council’s efforts to not only limit the size and scope of the NYPD, but also reimagine how we structure criminal justice and public safety in this city.
The $88.19 billion budget, which is on time and balanced, was negotiated with a focus on achieving equity, particularly for low-income communities of color. Despite unprecedented challenges due to a $9 billion revenue shortfall from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council fought for and won $700 million for programs and initiatives left out of the FY 2021 Executive Budget. These programs and initiatives will go towards helping our young people, schools, seniors, and low-income communities of color, to name a few. More details below.
The restorations of the Executive Budget cuts and the Council’s initiative package were made possible in part due to more than $300 million in agency savings that the Council identified for the de Blasio Administration. In addition, the FY 2021 Budget was balanced with budget reserves the City had at its disposal because of the Council’s advocacy in past budget negotiations. Under Speaker Johnson, the Council negotiated an additional $500 million for the City’s reserves last year, which has softened the blow of the recession. The Council hopes and continues to advocate for our federal leaders to deliver a robust aid package to New York, as well as more state aid.
“The Council came into this year’s budget negotiations laser-focused on preserving the social safety net while grappling with unprecedented revenue shortfalls. We are proud of the work we did to save the types of programs and initiatives we need to rebuild post-COVID, including the Summer Youth Employment Program, community food pantries, domestic violence programs, money that will go directly into school budgets, senior services, and alternatives to incarceration. We also heard the calls for reimagining the NYPD, and pushed for and won spending reductions to the Department. That work is not over, and while we have made progress, we are also vowing to keep fighting for fundamental changes to how we approach safety in schools, mental health and homelessness. Over the coming weeks, the Council will be working on hearings and legislation to make sure that these changes are real. Our City faces many challenges ahead, but the Council will work together to keep fighting on behalf of all New Yorkers,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.
“In the midst of a public health emergency and a financial crisis, the Council banded together to pass a budget that serves New York City’s most marginalized communities. This was an immensely difficult budget to pass. The Council was presented with painful decisions, but we never lost sight of our progressive priorities or vision for New York City. To the thousands of New Yorkers who so admirably fought for budget justice over the past several weeks: we heard you and we stand with you. We recognize that the City must move away from failed racist policing polices of the past. This budget significantly scales back funding for law enforcement at time when crime is at an all-time low and redirects those dollars towards services that uplift our communities during this time of great hardship. The FY 2021 budget bolsters our hospital system, food relief programs and other services that serve as lifelines to New Yorkers during these critical times. The Council has also worked to save thousands of jobs that would have otherwise been lost. I want to commend Speaker Corey Johnson for successfully shepherding us through this uniquely challenging budget season. Because of his leadership, and that of my colleague Capital Subcommittee Chair Vanessa Gibson, we have risen to the occasion and have devised a responsible, transformative budget that will move NYC forward,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Committee on Finance.
“As another budget cycle draws to a close, I want to thank Speaker Corey Johnson for his leadership during this tremulous time and all of my colleagues and their staff for the hours of work they did in preparing for this budget. This year proved to be the most difficult in my seven years in the Council, as we worked to balance the budget during a fiscal crisis and social unrest from images and videos of African-Americans being murdered across the country. In our negotiations with the Mayor, the Council fought hard to protect jobs, education, healthcare, social services, senior services, youth services and essential services that support vulnerable populations and those that were the most impacted by the pandemic. We understand it is not a perfect budget, but the work does not end here,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson, Chair of the Subcommittee on Capital Budget.
The FY2021 budget will:
· Save Summer – The Council has secured $115.8 million to bring back the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and the COMPASS, Beacon, and Cornerstone summer camp programs. Thanks to this restoration more than 35,000 youth will participate in a job training programs and at least 70,000 children will enjoy a summer camp experience. The Work, Learn, Grow program that offers students paid work experiences during the school year will provide up to 2,000 jobs next school year.
· Reduce and Reform the NYPD – The budget reduces police spending and shrinks NYPD’s footprint. The reduction includes nearly $484 million in cuts, $354 million in shifts to other agencies best positioned to carry out the duties that have previously been assigned to the NYPD, such as DOE, DOHMH and DHS, and $162 million in shifts of associated costs. The savings will go to critical programs and initiatives, including summer youth programming ( ($115 million), education ($116 million) and for family and social services ($134 million). In addition, $500 million in capital costs will be moved from the NYPD capital budget which allows investment in other badly needed infrastructure. The capital money will go towards the Parks Department community centers and NYCHA broadband access. The Council will be moving forward with hearings and legislation in July to ensure a just transition away from law enforcement in schools, homelessness and mental health, so that we can make certain that this is not just a budget shift.
o Eliminating two of the four NYPD classes this year, reducing headcount by 1,163 uniform officers and creating ongoing savings without laying off our newest officers under the city’s last in, first out rule.
o Returning control of School Safety to the Department of Education, ending a harmful zero-tolerance plan implemented by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to put the police department in charge of school safety. The new agreement includes a commitment to working with stakeholders, school administrators, advocates and school safety officers to move toward a community model and away from a punitive, enforcement-focused model.
o Removing NYPD from homeless outreach. Police often merely moved these individuals from one unsafe spot to another, continuing the cycle of injustice. The new model will focus on meaningful outreach by individuals trained to deal with this vulnerable population.
o Reducing overtime spending by $352 million and instituting strict oversight on overtime limits.
o Removing crossing guards from NYPD.
· Protect Public Schools – The Council recognized the need to shield our public schools and students from drastic budget cuts that would have, not only pared school budgets to the bones, but also would have stripped students of access to the social and emotional supports they need to thrive academically. The Council restored $100 million in Fair Student Funding, $11.6 million for the Single Shepherd guidance counselors, $4.8 million for 38 social workers, and $1.8 million for other social-emotional supports for students. This budget also funds school health programs so that there is a school nurse for every public school building.
· Help College Students Graduate – Because of the Council’s Advocacy, the CUNY Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) will be maintained with $34.3 million to help students stay on track and graduate. The Council also restored $1.7 million for the CUNY Remediation Program that helps students prepared for college course work.
· Preserve Youth Initiatives – The Fair Futures campaign for foster youth will receive $2.7 million, childcare vouchers will get $4 million, and discretionary childcare contracts will receive $8.7 million.
· Prevent Food Insecurity – In addition to the $25 million that the Council had previously negotiated to prevent food insecurity, the adopted budget will include $8.6 million in food initiatives to ensure that New Yorkers do not go hungry.
· Promote LGBTQIA Rights – Particularly during Pride, the Council is proud that the budget will include $1.8 million for the LGBTQ curriculum at the DOE and $1 million at the City University of New York (CUNY), as well as $1.4 million for LGBTQ senior services in every borough and $1.9 million for Trans Equity Programs.
· Maintain Culture and the Arts – Culture and the arts drive tourism and will contribute significantly to our economy and our recovery. The Adopted Budget will include $20.2 million for cultural programs and Cultural Institutions Groups, $14.3 million and $1 million for the CASA and SU-CASA initiatives, respectively, and $3.7 million for the Coalition Theaters of Color initiative.
· Support Libraries – The Adopted Budget will include $11.9 million to support the City’s three library systems. With this funding, the libraries will be able to maintain in programming and circulation, cover critical operating expenses, including repairs and upkeep that are not eligible for capital funds.
· Protect Survivors of Domestic Violence – The budget will include $12.2 million in services to help survivors of domestic violence, a full budget restoration of the Council initiative. The Council launched a social media campaign, #BeingSafeCANTWait, this spring to amplify the message that help was available to survivors during the pandemic. Sheltering in place has been incredibly dangerous for those facing domestic violence. Some countries saw a 30% increase in domestic violence reports after COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed. We should prepare for the same.
· Strengthen Small Businesses and Workers – In this economic climate, it is imperative that we do all we can to support the small businesses and workers who will help New York City recover. The budget will provide $1.6 million to Chamber on the Go, $3 million for Worker Coop Business Development, $1 million for Construction Site Safety Training, and $2.8 million for the Day Laborer Workforce Initiative.
· Engage Our Seniors – The budget will include $8.4 million for senior centers, $6.5 million for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, and $4 million to support Holocaust survivors.
· Provide Housing – Because the eviction moratorium put in place as a result of COVID-19 will soon be lifted, securing housing is imperative. Due to the Council’s advocacy, the budget will include $3.2 million for Foreclosure Prevention Programs, $3.1 million for Community Housing Preservation Strategies, $1.7 million for the Home Loan Program, and $637,500 for the Community Land Trust Initiative.
· Assist Immigrants – COVID-19 had a disproportionate impact on many of the City’s immigrant residents, made worse by an inability to access many federal programs intended to help. The Council fought to include $9.8 million for adult literacy, $2 million for the Immigrant Health Initiative, $4 million for unaccompanied minors and families, and $16.6 million for the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project to be included in the budget.
· Promote Criminal Justice – In continuation of the Council’s longstanding push for criminal justice, the budget will include $11.9 million for Alternatives to Incarceration, $2.2 million for diversion programs, $4.1 million to support people involved in the sex trade, $3.2 million for the Initiative to Combat Sexual Assault, and $2.9 million for the Crisis Management System.