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Adams and NYC Council agree to $107B budget

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(The Center Square) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council have agreed to a $107 billion budget that includes more money for trash collection, public libraries and schools and child care for undocumented migrants.

The “handshake” deal, expected to be approved by the City Council on Friday, boosts spending by hundreds of millions of dollars over Adams’ preliminary budget filed in April and pares back some of the cuts the mayor had proposed as part of his proposal.

The plan, which covers the fiscal year that begins on July 1, increases the city’s spending by about $3 billion over the current fiscal year.

Adams said this year’s budget process was marked by “challenges and unexpected crises” and acknowledged the negotiations with city council leaders “were not easy.” But he said the two sides “successfully navigated through these many crosscurrents to arrive at a strong and fiscally responsible budget.”

“Unlike the Yankees, it was not a perfect game,” he said in remarks at City Hall on Thursday. “But we got a win for working-class New Yorkers.”

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams praised the spending package for protecting “essential services that the people of this city rely on to be healthy, safe, and successful.”

“We took seriously our task to negotiate the best possible outcomes and deliver results for the people of our city,” she said in a statement.

Highlights of the spending package include $4 billion for affordable housing; $100 million to provide health care to New Yorkers who don’t have insurance; $95 million for discounted transit fares program; $22 million for trash collection, and $16 million for child care spaces for undocumented children and their families.

Throughout this year’s budget process, Adams and council leaders sparred publicly over plans to tackle the city’s affordable housing crisis, fund cultural institutions like libraries and museums, and pay for initiatives such as universal pre-K and child care.

Adams had called for belt-tightening measures and cuts for multiple city agencies, including reduced funding for public libraries and home-delivered meals for seniors. But council members pushed back hard against the plan arguing that the city had money to fund those services.

Reaction to the budget deal was mixed with fiscal watchdogs criticizing city leaders for increasing spending next year without making any spending cuts, with budget shortfalls looming.

The Citizens Budget Commission welcomed the budget deal but said the spending package “unfortunately delays the wise but hard choices needed to stabilize the city’s fiscal future,” noting it includes billions of dollars of spending “without the offsetting savings needed to sustain them.”

“With the coffers temporarily bulging, the budget increases fiscal cliffs, widens future budget gaps, and misses the opportunity to deposit money into the Rainy Day Fund,” Andrew Rein, the commission’s president, said in a statement. “The city should not wait until it slams into a fiscal wall to spend within its means. It should prioritize programs, reduce spending on those with lower impact, and restructure operations to increase productivity.”

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