Jessica Gould covers politics and public finance for WNYC.
City Council's Budget Wish List
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
In the annual back-and-forth known as the "budget dance," New York City Council is now taking the lead.
The council submitted its response to Mayor Bill de Blasio's nearly $74 billion preliminary budget that outlined its priorities, ranging from universal free lunches in schools, to a new commission to study the city's complex property tax system, to 1,000 more police officers on the beat.
Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said hiring more police officers would help advance the administration's own goals of improving traffic safety and relationships with local communities.
"As we continue to move forward as a city that continues to grow, in wanting to keep our crime rates low, in wanting true community partnership between the police and our local communities, we need to grow our force," she said.
The mayor has said he thinks the police force is the right size. And Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the city should spend the money a different way.
"The issue of pay raises for my personnel, I’m more supportive of that at the moment than I am of additional officers," he said in response to the proposal.
The city council also called for new rental subsidies for the homeless, increased funding for public hospitals, and expansion of the city's summer jobs program, among other initiatives.
Compared to the mayor's budget, the council identified an additional $56.7 million in savings, and asked for $257 million more in spending. The council document comes as de Blasio prepares to release his revised budget early next month.