New York City Council Passes $63B Budget

New York City Council Passes $63B Budget

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The New York City Council overwhelmingly passed a $63 billion city budget Tuesday, approving the plan with a 48-to-1 vote.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and council officials agreed on a four-year budget outline that includes budget cuts “on almost services, but also preserves many things that had been on the chopping block,” according to WNYC Radio.

Funds were cut for schools, libraries and social programs as decreasing revenues called for budget adjustments. Businessweek noted the budget keeps the police department staffed with 35,000 in uniform and 20 fire companies open.

Businessweek added:

“The city rolled over $3.6 billion of surplus to balance the fiscal 2011 budget and drew down $375 million from a health-care trust fund. Job losses, including dismissals, may total hundreds among the city’s 300,000 employees, the mayor said. More cuts may be necessary should the U.S. Congress reject a Medicaid funding bill New York is relying on for $600 million in the next two years, Bloomberg has said.

‘We were faced with difficult decisions to make,’ said (Council Speaker Christine) Quinn. ‘The budget we’ve reached focuses on our limited resources, on protecting core services to the most vulnerable New Yorkers.'”

The budget also includes $395 million added by the city during negotiations — $61.5 million to libraries, $31.1 million to the City University of New York and $37.7 million for children’s services, according to published figures.

The budget also contains about $50 million for “member items,” which WNYC Radio described as “controversial grants individual council members make to community groups.”

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