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NYC’s $92.8B Budget Deal for 2020 Provides for Mental Health, Abortion

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Council Finance Chair Daniel Dromm. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Finance Chair Daniel Dromm and members of the City Council have agreed on an on-time and balanced City budget for Fiscal Year 2020. The budget protects the City’s fiscal health by maintaining record levels of reserves and a robust Citywide Savings Program.

The agreement on the approximately $92.8 billion budget includes funding to place 200 additional social workers in public schools, including specialists working within Thrive who will help students experiencing crisis and mental health issues, according to the mayor’s office. The City is expanding its commitment to Senior Housing by adding $275 million over Fiscal Years 2020 through 2023. These resources will help generate an additional 800 affordable senior homes. This will raise the total City commitment for newly constructed senior housing to $687 million from now to the end of the housing plan.

“The Fiscal Year 2020 Adopted Budget creates greater fairness for all New Yorkers. We’ve reached an agreement that promises to create a pathway to pay parity for our early childhood education providers to address recruitment and retention issues, expands services that prevent unnecessary detention and fights the widespread national attack on access to abortion care,” said de Blasio in a statement. “We’re also strengthening our support services in schools by providing over 200 social workers for students who need them most, fulfilling our commitment to senior affordable housing and putting our new expanded speed camera program into action. We’re accomplishing all of this while protecting the City’s fiscal health by increasing savings and adding $250 million to our already historic levels of budget reserves. I want to thank Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Finance Chair Daniel Dromm and the rest of the City Council for their partnership.”

As part of the budget agreement, the mayor’s office said, the City is making a commitment to work with early childcare providers and their labor unions to create a pathway to pay parity to address recruitment and retention issues through collective bargaining. Similarly, in recognition of critical role legal defense attorneys play in the justice system, the City will continue conversations with providers to address compensation, recruitment and retention.

The FY20 Adopted Budget also maintains $1.15 billion in General Reserve, an increase of $150 million, $4.57 billion in Retiree Health Benefits Trust Fund, an increase of $100 million, and $250 million in the Capital Stabilization Reserve, the statement said.

As part of the City’s aggressive savings program, the Adopted Budget includes over $300 million in new savings, on top of the $2.5 billion achieved in the Citywide Savings Program over Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020 since last Adoption. These savings were, in part, attained through the Administration’s first Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG), and a permanent reduction of 2,600 City-funded positions. 325 additional vacancies will be reduced in this plan, adding $25 million in savings. The Citywide Savings Plan is an element of strong fiscal management, and helps balance the City’s budget and finance initiatives in an era of slowing revenue growth.

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