WNYC's Bob Hennelly is an award-winning investigative journalist. While at WNYC he has reported on a wide gamut of major public policy questions ranging from immigration and homeland security to power outages and utility mergers.
The City Council voted to pass the $66 billion budget on Wednesday — a plan that avoids 4,000 teacher layoffs and the closure of 20 fire companies but will hit both education and social services.
The budget passed Wednesday formalizes an earlier handshake agreement by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
The agreement also restores millions in library funding, prevents closure of city pools and it guarantees thousands of low-income children will be able to remain in government-subsidized child care.
But the city will not fill positions for 2,600 retiring teachers, and principals will also have to figure out how to cut $178 million from their school budgets next year.
Outside the Emigrant Savings Bank, loud protests were held Tuesday night, and 13 were arrested in an act of civil disobedience in the lobby of 250 Broadway, the City Council administrative offices, to protest budget cuts.