Council plan identifies $5.2 billion in additional tax revenues and $2.7 billion in available resources available through Fiscal Year 2024: invests $1.3 billion in essential services and restoring Preliminary Budget cuts and $1.4 billion for general reserves to account for budgetary risks
City Hall, NY – New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Finance Committee Chair Justin Brannan, Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, and Council Members unveiled the Council’s Fiscal Year 2024 Preliminary Budget Response. The response outlines $1.3 billion in investments across key areas to serve New Yorkers and restore proposed cuts to important programs that were made in the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget. The response also calls for $1.4 billion to be set aside for reserves to address the potential budgetary risks associated with the state budget, the City continuing to bear the disproportionate cost of supporting asylum seekers, and future economic uncertainties. This $2.7 billion in available funding from the Council is a portion of the $5.2 billion in additional tax revenues forecasted by Council Finance Division economists that exceeds the Office of Management and Budget’s estimates. The remainder of these revenues were designated to cover labor contract settlements based on the pattern set by DC 37, which are fully recognized in the Council’s plan. In releasing its Fiscal Year 2024 Preliminary Budget Response and corresponding budget priorities, the Council focused on investments into housing, the City’s workforce, the delivery of essential services, prioritization of resources, health, safety, and education.
The response also outlined necessary steps that the Administration must take to improve agency operations and service delivery for New Yorkers in its management of already budgeted funds. Current staff vacancies at city agencies exceed 22,000 positions, and too many non-profit service providers with city contracts are still owed outstanding payments from the City, undermining their ability to effectively serve New Yorkers. The City has held several hiring halls and job fairs to recruit and hire for city agencies, and the Council is working with the Administration to enhance these efforts. Yet, addressing these vacancies will also require the Administration to make changes to resolve and remove hiring barriers that hinder agencies’ abilities to hire. The Council urges the Administration to ensure its budget staff review agency hiring approval requests and expedite all hiring approvals faster than the currently proposed 10-day timeline so that agency hires can be completed in a timely manner. Outstanding payments to contracted service providers for early childhood education, youth services, and other services must also be immediately resolved.
The Council’s proposals outlined in this Budget Response reflect the City’s shared values and priorities which can be supported through identified revenue sources and savings. The Council’s Financial Plan forecasts a tax revenue surplus of $2.7 billion compared to the New York City Office of Management and Budget (OMB)’s projection. The Council’s Budget Response calls for investing in specific programs and priorities that will help ensure that we recover as a stronger and healthier New York.
The Council’s FY 2024 Preliminary Budget Response recommendations include investments in the following areas:
- Build Stronger Neighborhoods and Opportunities – $318.3 million
- Ensure Delivery of Essential City Services – $474.3 million
- Improve Community Health and Safety – $117.4 million
- Safeguard Education and Learning Opportunities – $388.1 million
The full report is available here.
“The Council’s Preliminary Budget Response presents a balanced approach that accounts for the potential risks and uncertainty ahead, while focusing on the investments the City must make to deliver essential services for New Yorkers,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “From the start of this year’s budget process, the Council has prioritized the people of New York City and what they need to be successful. This requires investments in housing, libraries and parks, schools, early childhood education, mental healthcare, and many other fundamental needs. A budget that commits greater resources towards clear solutions to our many challenges and crises is more urgent now than ever. To advance a healthier and safer city, the Council is focused on building stronger neighborhoods, expanding opportunities, and fighting for city government to fulfill its commitment to deliver essential services. Now is the time to place our investments where they provide the greatest returns for our city: back into New Yorkers, whose well-being will most determine our city’s stability and success.”
“Hardworking taxpayers measure the return on their investment through efficient delivery of essential government services. Sound fiscal stewardship means focusing budget priorities where they matter most. From 3K to CUNY, from rental vouchers to clean streets, from funding libraries to filling potholes, everything in this budget response is something the Council believes is worth fighting for,” said Council Member Justin Brannan, Chair of the Council’s Finance Committee. “As the Council heads into FY24 budget negotiations, we do so with eyes wide open to the challenges on the horizon and at our doorstep. We have never doubted the durability of our city’s economy, but we know resilience doesn’t happen on its own – it requires thoughtful, meaningful, and tangible investments. We have what we need to spend and save and we must do both. New Yorkers don’t run and hide, we stand and fight. This city’s best days are ahead of us – count us out at your own peril. With a laser focus on equity and efficiency, we can maintain public trust and truly build a city that works for everyone.”
“New Yorkers deserve a budget that is centered around the issues facing them and their families,” said Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala. “A budget with solutions to childcare, housing, education, and the chronic understaffing of our city agencies. Our budget invests in New York City and its families, it’s time that we utilize the resources we have to broaden the opportunities of every New Yorker; and that’s exactly what we intend to do.”
Build Stronger Neighborhoods and Opportunities ($318.3 Million)
Affordable and stable housing, economic opportunities, and strong neighborhoods are crucial to the success of New Yorkers. Shortchanging investments in these areas would produce instability that undermines the well-being of New York City. The city budget should prioritize funding for safe streets, transit, housing, and neighborhood opportunities with $318.3 million in additional investments for affordable housing, housing supports, economic and workforce development, and neighborhood aid to reach all New Yorkers.
Increase Affordable Housing Investments
Adding an additional $3.3 billion across the Capital Commitment Plan towards the production and preservation of affordable housing across the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD) programs, including support for NYCHA. The Council also proposes doubling the commitments for Supportive Housing and Extremely Low- and Low-Income Affordability programs as well as increased commitments to HPD’s Green Housing Preservation Program, Article 8A Loan Program, Section 202 Housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credit Preservation Program, Participation Loan Program, and Multifamily Preservation Loan Program.
Expand Supportive Housing for Individuals Involved with the Justice System
A lack of housing remains one of the greatest barriers for New Yorkers who have exited the justice system and too many are remanded to detention because they lack a permanent home that would avoid their placement in the jail system. It remains a priority of this Council to expand and improve Justice Involved Supportive Housing (JISH) programming to help people transition from the justice system to stable housing and employment opportunities. The 2024 Executive Budget should include an additional $57.8 million to expand these safety-improving opportunities.
Reverse the Cuts to NYC Public Housing
The City reduced its contributions to the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) budget by approximately $31 million across the plan period, mostly through reductions to the Vacant Unit Readiness Program. This program helps prepare and rehabilitate NYCHA units for turnover to be occupied by New Yorkers through placement from Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelters, emergency transfers, and NYCHA’s general waiting list. The Executive Budget should restore the $31 million for this critical program and address the capacity issues that impact its performance. In addition, the Council calls on the Administration to restore the cuts made to NYCHA’s operating budget over Fiscal 2023 and 2024.
Fully Utilize State Rental Supplement Program Funds for All New Yorkers
New York State’s Rental Supplement Program (RSP) provides funding to supplement rental costs for low-income individuals, regardless of immigration status. The many longtime New Yorkers, who are undocumented and in the City’s shelter system, have been ineligible for other housing assistance and vouchers, leaving them perpetually stuck in the City’s shelter system. The Council calls on the City to immediately employ outstanding RSP funding and allocate all remaining RSP funds for Fiscals 2023 and 2024, after the cost of the State FHEPS rate increase for City recipients has been fully covered, to support the creation of a program to provide rental assistance vouchers to undocumented City residents.
Expand Fair Fares to Nearly Double the Number of Low-Income City Residents Eligible for Half-Price Rides on Buses, Subways, and Access-A-Ride
The Council calls on the Administration to expand eligibility for Fair Fares to City residents with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty line. This would nearly double the number of bus, subway, and Access-A-Ride users eligible for half-price rides and increase access to public transit. This expansion would require an additional $61.5 million of baselined funding bringing the total baseline budget for Fair Fares to $136.5 million.
Provide Funding to Keep School Playgrounds Open
The Council calls on the Administration to restore and baseline funding that enables 72 playgrounds renovated by the Trust for Public Land to remain open after school hours. This would provide funding for school custodial staff to attend to the playgrounds. The Council requests an additional $2.25 million enabling school playgrounds to remain open for New Yorkers.
Ensure DOE Pools and City Public Pools are Equitably Accessible to All New Yorkers
The Council calls on the Administration to allocate funds to make certain DOE school pools available to the public outside of school hours, ensure all the City’s pools are in a state of good repair, and to implement more no-cost swimming programs for the public.
Increase funding for Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) has provided comprehensive care and accessibility to New Yorkers with disabilities since 1973. MOPD has launched multiple programs to provide aid, including its employment program NYC:ATWORK that has connected over 500 people with disabilities to internships since 2018. Despite this, MOPD is continuously underfunded, with its current operating budget as of the Preliminary Budget being $849,346 for Fiscal 2024, which is only a one dollar increase from their operating budget for the prior year. The Council calls for an additional $2.5 million investment in MOPD’s NYC:ATWORK program to expand services and triple the number of New Yorkers with disabilities connected to a career.
Lithium-Ion Battery Education, Outreach, and Swap for New Yorkers using E-Bikes, Scooters, and Other Electronic Devices
Lithium-ion battery fires have become an increasing concern in New York City due to the widespread circulation of uncertified lithium-ion batteries for electronic devices, such as e-bikes and scooters. The Council calls on the Administration to add $3 million to support greater outreach about the risks of uncertified batteries and initiate a battery swap program for delivery workers.
Prioritize Equitable, Lifesaving, Street Safety Infrastructure Investments in Communities Most Impacted by Traffic Violence
The Council urges the Administration to fund and pursue traffic daylighting and other traffic calming measures at a significant level, with a focus on equity for communities of color that disproportionately lack these street safety infrastructure investments, to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers.
Ensure Delivery of Essential City Services ($474.3 Million)
City government’s core responsibility is to deliver essential services to New Yorkers and neighborhoods, yet it has recently fallen far short of fulfilling this basic obligation, particularly those most- reliant on city services for their everyday needs. The Preliminary Budget proposes reduced or inadequate commitments to many of the most critical services for New Yorkers, including libraries, cultural institutions, food assistance, legal services, parks, sanitation, and various human and social services. In order to prioritize the delivery of these important city services, the Council recommends that $474.3 million be added to the city budget for these program areas.
Support Funding for Legal Service Providers
Legal service providers, including public defenders in criminal court and civil legal service providers, are a critical component of the City’s justice system. City contracts do not cover the actual costs of services, fixed cost increases, and equitable pay rates, and the City’s procurement practice imposes costs on providers. Public defender organizations require significant funding to have the capacity to fulfill their duties, fund the costs associated with implementing discovery laws, hire additional staff, and provide pay parity for retention, and secure technology improvements to collect, store, organize, and share evidence for criminal cases.
The Council is recommending that $195 million from its adjusted revenue projections be provided to legal services providers, with the understanding that this is a fraction of the need and will not produce increased capacity to take on more housing cases. Recognizing the extent of the need for these vital legal services, the Council advocated in Albany for the State Budget to provide New York City’s legal services providers with significant funding to bolster their operations. However, should the State Budget fail to provide support for the City’s legal services providers, it will be imperative for the city budget to prioritize resources to address this major funding need. An increase of the baseline budget for legal service providers is required to establish pay parity with comparable City agency staff, and to cover fixed and inflationary cost increases including rent, benefits, and overhead. With increased funds, providers can assure caseloads meet standards and are reasonable for attorneys and other staff, and support services that are essential to the provision of high-quality representation, such as social workers. The Council is calling on the Administration to undertake a comprehensive review of the pay rates and funding levels of criminal defense and civil legal service providers and commit to ensuring adequate funding to support all eligible individuals obtaining RTC legal services.
Restore Funding for Libraries
The Councils calls on the Administration to allocate an additional $36.2 million to the City’s three library systems. This funding will both restore the baseline cut of $20.5 million to libraries’ budgets and cover the $15.7 million subsidy provided through City Council discretionary funding. Libraries have an essential presence in every neighborhood of New York providing indispensable services in a safe and reliable space to the youth, seniors, immigrants, and incarcerated individuals, among other New Yorkers. The cost of providing six-day services has increased and substantial funding is needed to sustain operation and ensure the libraries continue to provide vital programs to the patrons and the communities.
Provide Additional Support for the Cultural Community
The Fiscal 2024 Preliminary Plan does not adequately fund the City’s cultural organizations that are integral to the stability and growth of neighborhoods and our city’s economy. Cultural institutions and their resources are accessed by New York City schoolchildren, teachers, families, and international audiences. These institutions are major employers and increase the traffic at local businesses. The Council calls on the Administration to support cultural organizations by providing $50 million in Fiscal 2024 for the Department of Cultural Affairs, to support Cultural Institution Groups (CIG), provide across-the-board grant increases for all Cultural Development Fund (CDF) recipients, and support the City’s artists. This includes baselining the $21.5 million for CIGs and $18.5 million for Cultural Development Fund recipients that was provided in Fiscal 2023 and providing an additional $10 million to be divided between the CIGs and CDF recipients.
Increase Client Services Staffing, Improve Processes, and Implement Systems Upgrades for Benefits and Housing Assistance
The Council calls on the Administration to ensure HRA hires and retains adequate staffing for the timely review and processing of all public assistance benefits, including cash assistance, SNAP, housing assistance, and rental voucher programs. HRA should also explore expedited improvements to technology and internal systems with the goal of improving turnaround times and increasing efficiency and accuracy. Over the last year, HRA has experienced increased attrition of frontline staff who administer benefit programs, which has led to record backlogs in the processing of benefits. It is critical that the Administration act expeditiously to reduce these backlogs, increase HRA staffing levels, and improve the delivery of vital safety net benefits to clients.
Increase Funding for Community Food Help Programs for Older Adults, Homebound New Yorkers, and Year-Round Free Meals in City Schools ($83 million)
The Council calls on the Administration to increase and baseline the budget for HRA’s Community Food Connection program (CFC), which funds emergency food help at pantries and soup kitchens, across the City. This would increase the budget in Fiscal 2024 by $6 million. The Council also calls on the Administration to add $3 million in funding to allow for one school in each of the City’s 32 school districts to continue to provide meals to any New Yorker in need. In addition, the Council calls on the Administration to add $74 million to NYC Aging’s budget for its Home Delivered Meals program and funding for senior center food and outreach.
Expand Funding for Language Access Services for New Yorkers ($13.7 million)
The Council urges the Administration to restore and baseline $8.7 million in funding for translation and interpretation services across City agencies. To expand citywide language access, the City should restore $5 million to expand the community interpreter bank and language services worker cooperatives.
Oversight and Investigations for Corruption & Misconduct ($13.6 million)
The Department of Investigation (DOI), the Board of Correction (BOC) and Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) serve critical roles as oversight entities helping to prevent corruption and ensure accountability. They must be adequately funded to fulfill their responsibilities and the Council calls for $2.6 million for the DOI, $3 million for the BOC and $8 million for the CCRB. These investments will ensure they have sufficient resources to add needed staff and improve their technology.
Improve Community Health and Safety ($117.4 Million)
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and exacerbated the wide disparities in access to health care, including mental health, and safety that predated the virus. The inadequate investments in appropriate responses have left affected New Yorkers both less healthy and safe. With the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, it is more critical than ever for New York City to invest in addressing the disparities in health services to ensure that underserved communities have access to care. The Council urges the Administration to increase public health services to vulnerable populations who have limited access to resource, and lack access to health and mental health services, while focusing on evidence-based, proven safety solutions at the community level. In order to target support and expansion of important programs to make New York City healthier and safer, the Council recommends an additional $117.4 million in the following program areas.
Invest in Community-Based Solutions for Violence Interruption
The City has been beset by tragedies stemming from increased violence, which is part of a trend in cities across the nation. While the Administration and the Council have increased funding for the Crisis Management System (CMS) and the Domestic Violence and Empowerment Initiative, more attention must be given to organizations within and outside of CMS that are doing critical youth intervention work in neighborhoods impacted by violence to improve safety. An investment of $3 million would support community organizations that work alongside precincts across the City and are either part of or supplement CMS in targeted Council Districts with the highest rates of violence, providing services for longer term solutions and more direct community engagement.
Support and Enhance Trauma Recovery Centers
Trauma recovery centers (TRCs) are an innovative model of victim services that reach underserved victims and communities to provide health, recovery, and stability to heal communities and interrupt cycles of violence. These survivors often never access or are even aware of victim services, which are available at no cost to the patient. The Administration should include $5 million in funding to support TRCs and work with the Council to expand and create a TRC in every borough.
Accelerate Opening of Outposted Therapeutic Housing Units at H+H
The City has committed to opening Outposted Therapeutic Housing Units (OTxHU) through NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H)/Correctional Health Services (CHS) to improve access to care for patients at Rikers Island whose clinical conditions require access to specialty and subspecialty care. OTxHUs are secure clinical units within a hospital that serves patients in custody who have serious health conditions. H+H has plans to open three units with approximately 380 beds at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, and North Central Bronx Hospital in the Bronx.
The Council urges the Administration to accelerate the opening of these therapeutic beds, which will increase patients’ access to a higher level of clinical and medical care, while at the same time reducing the burden on the city’s jail system. Ensuring that we have these beds available is a key component of meeting our commitment to closing Rikers Island by 2027.
Baseline the Mental Health Continuum
As students citywide continue to grapple with mental health challenges, the Council compels the Administration to baseline $5 million in funding the cross-agency partnership between the Department of Education (DOE), H+H, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to provide mental health support to all students, both in person and via video. This support must persist as students continue to demonstrate a need for intervention to address mental health issues.
Strengthen Connection between Mental Health Diversions and Legal System
The Council advocated for the State Budget to make statutory changes and investments that help expand the use of mental health courts to divert people with mental health challenges from entering the justice system. As we await adoption of the Fiscal 2024 State Budget, the City budget should consider the creation of awareness and training programs targeted at attorneys and judges in the justice system regarding available mental health diversion options, while also strengthening their connections to mental health providers that serve people who may end up in the courts to improve diversion outcomes.
Increase Investments to Expand Alternatives to Incarceration and Alternatives to Detention Programs (ATIs and ATDs)
The challenges to public safety in our City are complex and require multifaceted approaches. The City’s ATI and ATD programs provide a range of rehabilitative, therapeutic, and training programs with a demonstrated record of accomplishment for reducing incarceration and detention, lowering recidivism rates, and helping New Yorkers return to stable employment, housing, and health.
The Council calls for a $34 million increase in funding for ATIs and ATDs in the Fiscal 2024 Executive Plan from $17.4 million in funding for ATI expansion and $3 million for ATD in Fiscal Year 2023. The Council calls on the Administration to increase the baseline for ATI Expansion and ATDs for Juveniles with particular emphasis on felony ATI programs and programs in problem-solving courts like mental health, drug treatment, and veterans’ courts. In addition, the Council calls on the Administration to allocate $6.1 million for Felony ATI court and $6.9 million for Manhattan Justice Opportunities.
Increase Funding for Crisis Respite Centers
Crisis Respite Centers provide a community-based alternative to hospitalization for people experiencing emotional crises. They are safe and supportive home-like places to rest and recover when more support is needed than can be provided at home, allowing an open-door setting for up to one week and staffed by trained peers and non-peers to help people overcome emotional crisis. The Council calls on the Administration to allocate $4 million to expand and support new centers, and to remove barriers in the referral process so more people can refer their loved ones.
The Council also supports the Administration’s pledged investment in clubhouses/day centers, similar to the Fountain House model, that support the recovery of people living with serious mental illness by providing a restorative environment and access to support services that help people with their basic needs, including employment, housing, and meals.
Expand Mental Health Community Treatment Teams
The Council urges the Administration to add investments to expand the number of city-funded Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) and Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) teams to provide mobile, intensive case management to people with serious mental illness, including those with involvement in the justice system. The teams include mental health, substance use, and peer specialists who provide support and treatment, including medication, and facilitate connections to housing and additional supportive services that provide stability.
Expand School-Based Mental Health Clinics to 100 Additional Sites
School-based mental health clinics provide on-site mental health services, including diagnosis and treatment to children during the school day. Through prior year investments, the City was able to establish some form of mental health service in approximately 1,025 schools, serving roughly 600,000 students. The Administration should make an additional investment of $28 million to expand school-based mental health clinics across all city schools and improve outcomes for not only for students, but for the surrounding community.
The Administration and City should be moving towards meeting the ratio of one school social worker for every 250 students as recommended by the National Center for School Mental Health and the National Association of School Psychologists. he Fiscal 2024 budget should include funding to start the process of achieving this goal.
Hire a Reproductive Health Psychologist for Every H+H Hospital
New and expecting moms/birthing people, experience perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) often referred to as postpartum depression (PPD). This could include prenatal depression, the “baby blues,” postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.
In order to support the mental health needs of parents during and after childbirth, the Council urges the Administration to add $2.4 million to the FY24 Executive Plan to support the hiring of a Reproductive Health Psychologist for every H+H Hospital.
Safeguard Education and Learning Opportunities ($388.1 million)
Some of the most widespread and immense impacts of the pandemic were those experienced by students in the City’s public school system. It has been estimated that some students fell behind by nearly a year in their education during the pandemic and this in poorer communities and in communities of color.
It is also critical that the City provides the funding necessary to bolster our public post-secondary learning institutions. Programs supporting students at the City University of New York (CUNY). The Council calls upon the Administration to provide $388.1 million to adequately fund educational priorities.
Maintain 3K Funding and Convert Seats to Extended Day and Extended Year
The Council urges the Administration to identify the necessary resources to replace expiring federal funds to support 3K expansion in the coming years, while focusing efforts on fixing the problems in DOE’s administration of the program that have led to its under-utilization. The Council believes that the 3K system’s current configuration – where most seats are designated to cover services only for the school day and for the school year is incompatible with the actual need of most families, particularly working parents who often require full day and full year services. Therefore, the Council calls on the Administration to allocate an additional $15 million for a pilot program to convert 1,000 school day / school year 3K seats into extended day / extended year seats. The Council also urges the Administration to redouble its outreach efforts and improve its marketing of the program to widely provide the necessary and appropriate information regarding 3K so parents can make informed decisions about the program. Enrollment should be decentralized from DOE for community-based providers to occur on-site.
Provide Pay Parity for 3K and Early Childhood Education Providers
The City’s has made a concerted effort to provide enhanced educational opportunities to all children including an expansion of the age at which schooling beings to as early as three years old. However, the City’s child-care sector has increasingly faced challenges in providing and sustaining these critical services. During the pandemic, many providers struggled to sustain operations while parents removed their children from the system due to safety concerns. Many of the City’s contracted early childhood education providers are barely able to stay afloat due to delays in reimbursements from the City and high turnover amongst staff, who often leave to work for the DOE at higher pay rates. The Council calls upon the Administration to provide $46 million in additional funding to enable these community-based providers to offer higher wages to their employees that are commensurate with early childhood educators employed by the DOE.
Release Transparent School Budgets in Order to Protect Student Learning
Without updated individual school budgets and enrollment projections it is exceedingly difficult for the Council and other oversight entities to analyze the Department of Education’s budget. In addition to calling for the DOE to allocate the resources necessary to ensure that school budgets enable schools to provide adequate educational services and preserve essential programs, the Council urges the DOE to release school budgets in a timely manner together with enrollment projections so that school communities, parents, and the general public can easily access and understand them.
Fully Fund Arts Education in Public Schools
Arts education is an essential component of every child’s education. School budget reductions in Fiscal 2023 led to the layoffs of arts teachers and the reduction of art programming in many schools. The Council calls on the Administration to add $77.9 million to ensure that every school has a certified arts teacher and to increase the per student allocation from $80 to $100 to ensure students are provided with a comprehensive arts program. As part of this allocation, the Council calls upon the Administration to provide $1 million to fund an art teacher certification program, $6 million to restore and enhance the Support for Arts Education initiative, $5 million to fund arts in youth programs, and $19 million to restore the Arts Partnership grant program to its pre-Covid funding level.
Expand Restorative Justice Citywide
The mental health and well-being of New York City students continues to be a priority for the Council, particularly considering the impact the pandemic has had on our youth’s mental health. Research shows restorative justice improves academic outcomes, shifts the school climate, and has an overall positive impact on school staff. For this reason, the Council calls on the Administration to expand restorative justice practicum in 250 schools in Fiscal 2024. The Council calls for a $59 million investment in restorative justice coordinators in 250 schools next fiscal year, as well as funding restorative justice training for all staff and school community members.
Fund Community Schools
The concept of the Community Schools program is to transform a school into a place where educators, community members, families, and students are empowered to work together to strengthen conditions for student learning and healthy development. The Administration should provide increased support for community schools with an additional investment of $15 million for the upcoming school year, baselining this funding into the outyears.
These funds would restore programming that was included in the Fiscal 2023 budget, including $9.2 million for 52 Contract Amendment Schools. In 2021, the Office of Community Schools (OCS) issued a Request for Proposals that changed the funding formula for Community Schools and resulted in 52 schools seeing major reductions to their budgets. With the Council’s advocacy, funding for these schools was restored with a one-time amendment that was also included in the Fiscal 2023 Adopted Budget. For these Community Schools to continue providing the same level of services, it is critical that these funds be added again in Fiscal 2024 and baselined for the remainder of the Financial Plan period.
Invest in CUNY and Restore Cuts
The Council calls on the Administration to restore and baseline $36.9 million in programmatic initiatives and cuts. This includes $29.1 million of cuts to CUNY’s budget as part of the City’s Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG), and $7.8 million of programmatic cuts. Of the $29.1 million in proposed cuts in the November and January Financial Plans, $23.4 million were associated with the elimination of 235 vacant positions and $5.1 million were associated with programmatic reductions. These reductions have affected funding for the City’s community colleges, particularly the funding for full-time teachers, counselors, and full-time supporting staff.
Baseline Funding for Adult Literacy Programs
Funding for Adult Literacy programs provides for basic education, English-language, and high school equivalency programs serving over 12,000 New York City adult learners. The Council urges the Administration to increase and baseline $6.7 million in Fiscal 2024 for DYCD Adult Literacy Education contracted programs and to increase the per student funded rate to $2,700.
“The City Council’s 2024 preliminary budget response ensures that critical investments are made across our city,” said Majority Leader Keith Powers. “I’m proud of the work of our budget team and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and the Mayor to get the FY 2024 budget finalized.”
“New Yorkers deserve access to high-quality services and investments in infrastructure citywide,” said Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “I note the crucial investments this response calls for in essential programs and projects, from Fair Fares to public pools, and I stand alongside my Council colleagues in calling for a restoration of cuts made in the Mayor’s preliminary budget.”
“Budget are a statement of values, and in this budget, the City Council is standing up for essential services that support all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Erik Bottcher. “A priority of mine in this year’s budget is ensuring that sanitation funding is maintained, and not reduced. Cutting corner basket service at this critical juncture in New York City’s recovery would be a mistake, and I have confidence that the City Council will be able to win this funding in the final budget.”
“The Mayor’s proposed budget cuts would be disastrous for everyday New Yorkers, making our families, neighborhoods, and communities less safe, less healthy, and less prosperous,” said Council Member Tiffany Cabán. “I’m proud to stand with my Council colleagues in rejecting these cruel, dangerous cuts and fighting for investments in true public safety and public health.”
“Our City Council is clear today in calling on the Mayor to invest in the long-term health and safety of New York City communities, including funding our NYC Parks as the vital spaces they are and hiring at least 1,000 new parks workers, who keep our public spaces clean and green, said Council Member Shekar Krishnan. “We need to invest in the services our working families depend on to survive: universal early childhood care, a thriving CUNY system, and comprehensive mental health services. At this critical moment for New York City, our budget must build up our communities, not cut them down.”
“Our City has a moral obligation to ensure the health and safety of New Yorkers. Amidst a mental health crisis that was greatly exacerbated by the pandemic, I applaud Speaker Adrienne Adams for making the mental well-being of our City a focal point in the Council’s preliminary budget response,” said Council Member Linda Lee. “Residents rely on the City for a wide array of essential programs, including mental healthcare, childhood education, and youth services, and now more than ever, we must ensure that there is an adequate workforce that can provide the assistance needed by so many families. The health, safety, and welfare of our city are all connected to how we respond to these issues and by ensuring the timely delivery of essential services. I thank Speaker Adams for her leadership as the Council looks to bring solutions that will benefit all New Yorkers.”
“I’m proud of Speaker Adams and my colleagues who came together and united around our proposed budget,” said Council Member Farah Louis. “It’s clear this Council prioritizes working class New Yorkers and creating a city that is equitable and inclusive to all. As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is essential we properly fund the nation’s most vibrant municipality with the largest offerings of programs and services. We are eager to collaborate with the Mayor Adams to continue fighting for the people of our great city.”
“New York City needs a budget that serves all New Yorkers through key investments and adequate funding for early childhood programming, sanitation services, and small business initiatives,” said Council Member Julie Menin. “The City Council’s budget response reiterates our commitment to finding meaningful solutions to address long standing inequities and would create a safer, fairer, and more prosperous city for all. I look forward to continuing the budget process with my council colleagues, Speaker Adams, and community leaders to deliver a strong budget that benefits all New Yorkers.”
“I am proud to stand with my colleagues to release our FY24 Preliminary Budget Response,” said Council Member Mercedes Narcisse. “Our budget is one that puts people first, and addresses the inequities which exist in our city within healthcare, housing and education. I am particularly pleased with our push to expand mental health services to all New Yorkers. Together we can make a better New York.”
“As the City continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council’s Preliminary Budget response represents a robust investment in our City’s healthcare system by supporting access to public health programs in underserved areas, bolstering diabetes prevention, and committing to a healthcare infrastructure that is accessible, affordable and equitable,” said Council Member Lynn Schulman. “For the past three years, we have been experiencing the worst public healthcare crisis of our lifetime. Today’s response addresses the historic lack of preventive and primary care services, which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in tragic illness and needless deaths.”
“New York City has a legal and moral obligation to close Rikers Island and ensure a truly safe city for everyone. Critical investments in alternatives to incarceration and diversion programs have proven to reduce recidivism and lower crime rates and must be included in this year’s budget along with more investments in community safety, workforce development, and mental health services that are accessible and meet the needs of all New Yorkers. Creating pathways to stable housing is vital for building a safer city, and this includes the expansion of Justice Involved Supportive Housing. Oversight and accountability of the jail system cannot be delayed and must be addressed now by rightsizing the Department of Correction budget and ensuring the Board of Correction has more resources to meet their charter-mandated responsibility to set minimum standards and oversight of misconduct. I am proud to stand with Speaker Adams in calling for critical investments in safe communities and a humane jail system,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “Essential city services like sanitation, education, transportation, and housing are critical in this period of uncertainty for keeping New York City a great place to live and work. The preliminary budget response by the City Council ensures responsible investments in quality of life and a vision to achieve our long term goals.”
“Our great city is in a time of recovery, and it is our duty as the first majority woman and majority people of color led city government to ensure we are hurtling toward not only a recovery to the status quo, but a just and equitable recovery that undoes harms of the past and uplifts residents from communities that have long been blocked from wealth building opportunities and even stability,” said Council Member Pierina Sanchez. “We are at a critical juncture to ensure that our New Yorkers have increased access to after school and enrichment and economic opportunities that build wealth for our extremely low to moderate families. Our budget is a moral document exhibiting our priorities. Our budget must push for $4 billion for the preservation and new construction of housing opportunities most needed in our city: affordable housing for low to moderate income New Yorkers, supportive housing, homeownership opportunities, and preservation funds that prioritize reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and achieve Local Law 97 compliance. Last year, we voted on a down payment towards stabilizing families, so this year we must fully commit to this end by supporting crucial programs we know provide deeply affordable housing to New Yorkers who need it most, from current and prospective homeowners to tenants and residents of the city.”
“Following birth, the priority is often placed on the newborn’s health. Part of taking care of our youngest New Yorkers is taking care of their parents, both physically and mentally,” said Council Member Marjorie Velázquez. “I am honored to expand a program we have in my community into other neighborhoods in our City, as well as ensure that our new parents can address postpartum and other mental health issues they may be processing.”
“Our fiscal year 2024 preliminary budget response is a significant start and signals our efforts to carry forward a budget that works for our most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Council Member Nantasha Williams. “I’d like to thank Speaker Adams and Finance Chair Brannan for their leadership in guiding the Council’s budget negotiating process. As Council District 27’s representative, it is my responsibility to help ensure that our residents receive equitable and necessary support for their most basic needs. I am proud to be a part of a Council body that puts people first which is abundantly clear in our prelim budget response.”
“With the FY’ 24 budget just starting to take shape, our city’s budget must prioritize the working people that keep New York moving. To put people first, we are calling for fully funding public schools, full restoration and baselining of libraries by $36.2M, $3.3B to build affordable housing for low income New Yorkers, $59M for restorative justice centered public safety, $3M for community based solutions for violence interruption, $6.7M to restore and baseline funding for adult literacy programs, and so much more,” said Council Member Julie Won. “I will continue to fight at the negotiating table for a budget that invests in care for our communities, not cuts — a budget that invests in education, affordable housing, social services, public safety, and alternatives to incarceration. Thank you to Speaker Adams, Finance Chair Brannan, my Council colleagues, and the Finance staff who worked tirelessly on this preliminary budget response.”