“While we are pleased about relief for some programs and will continue to review the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25), it is critical to underscore the need for a better approach to budgeting that is based on a more accurate and shared set of facts. Budgets and the numbers that determine them have significant implications on the lives of all New Yorkers, including the hardworking public servants in our city agencies. It is counterproductive for New Yorkers to needlessly fear dire threats to essential services they rely upon when so many are struggling through an inequitable recovery. Agencies should not be pre-occupied and demoralized by unnecessary budget exercises when they have no shortage of work to complete on behalf of New Yorkers.

“It is refreshing to see the Administration acknowledge the importance of shifting contracts for asylum seeker services away from costly emergency for-profit contractors towards non-profit organizations, as the Council has been advocating for many months. While the Administration has presented a balanced budget for FY25, continued challenges remain with out-year gaps, PEGs, a hiring freeze, and other issues. Education services for our children, public library services in our neighborhoods, community-based mental health, social services, and other government programs must be prioritized to ensure an equitable recovery for our city. This will require smarter prioritization of resources and an examination of our various revenue options, including tax breaks and policies that may not be in New Yorkers’ best interests. As a government, we must all be operating within the same reality, so that budget conversations are productive, transparent, and support the success of our city and New Yorkers.”