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Budget Wrangling to Begin As Hearings Wind Down This Week

Monday, June 04, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg presents Fiscal Year 2013 Executive Budget. (Spencer T Tucker)

The final day for New York City residents to weigh in on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed budget before the City Council begins wrangling for the restoration of funds is on Wednesday.

The Council is also expected to hear Wednesday from independent watchdogs, including City Comptroller John Liu and Ronnie Lowenstein, director of the Independent Budget Office.

Once the budget hearings end, the Council will then spend much of the rest of June in negotiations with the Bloomberg administration, in hopes of restoring funds to certain programs.

City Council committees have spent the past few weeks examining the $68.7 billion spending plan with the heads of city agencies.

The areas facing the biggest cuts, and getting the most attention, are after-school and childcare programs and the proposed closure of 20 fire companies.

The advocacy group Campaign for Children estimates that the executive budget proposal eliminates more than 15,000 childcare seats and more than 32,000 slots for after-school programs.

These are the issues the Council has said are priorities when it looks to dip into its own discretionary funds.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has said she is "deeply concerned" about cuts to major childcare and after-school programs and that cutting 20 fire companies needlessly endangers public safety.

The executive budget does protect the teaching workforce, a change from the mayor's preliminary budget proposal in February. Without the restored funds, the Education Department would have seen a loss of more than 2,500 teachers through attrition.

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Comments [1]

ivories888 from New York City

Bloomberg always makes dire threats re education, followed by restoration of funds. Everyone looks good. Meanwhile, a majority of City Council members, including Christine Quinn, have been unwilling to stand up to him and save the Yorkville and S.E. Harlem communities by demanding he do exactly what he did with the 3 other Marine Garbage Stations in Bklyn and Queens in his plan, locate them far away from where people live. Manhattan's waterfront has undeveloped sites that are distant enough from residential areas to make sense. Unfortunately big real estate developers have surely been already promised or given or sold those sites, right Mr. Mayor? Madam President? And would someone want to look into Bloomberg's investments in those same real estate corporations? I'm just wondering.

Jun. 06 2012 04:13 PM

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