Mayor de Blasio unveils COVID ‘recovery budget’; investments in education, public safety, LGBTQ services, NYPD

Local News

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a nearly $100 billion spending plan for New York City’s COVID-19 “recovery budget” Wednesday, which makes radical investments in working families, including millions invested in education and public safety.

“We need a recovery for all of us,” the mayor said during the budget announcement.

This is the eighth budget under the de Blasio administration, but the mayor said this one “is the most important” as it determines the city’s future and strength of its recovery.

“This recovery budget makes really powerful, even radical investments in working people. And that’s what we believe in reaching every neighborhood, doing things that will change the lives of New Yorkers for the long haul,” he said Tuesday ahead of the budget preview.

The City Council will vote on the budget plan Wednesday, according to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

Protests have occurred across the city over the last year calling for the defunding of police, however this year’s budget plan would include an increase, primarily for IT needs. The mayor also said they had worked on overtime, but could not substantially decrease that.

  • $98.7 billion plan
  • $2.8 billion has been added to the city’s reserves, including first-time ever “Rainy Day Fund”
  • Goal is to bring economy, tourism back
  • Bringing kids back to school in September, close COVID achievement gap and work on academic and emotional needs of children
    • Push on literacy, including pilot program where two teachers will be put into classrooms of schools with high-need
  • Public safety = Recovery
    • Investments in grassroots solutions in gun violence
  • City Council Speaker Corey Johnson: For the first time ever, every school will receive 100% of funding 
    • Ensure every school will have a social worker
    • Investing in smaller class sizes
    • New literacy program
    • “These are critical steps in helping our young people recover from the past 16 months,” Johnson said. 
  • Johnson: Reversed cuts that occurred last year (Ex: parks, sanitation services)
  • $2.8 million LGBTQ curriculum package, investing $5 million in LGBTQ community services and $4.2 million in trans equity initiatives
  • Councilmember Mark Treyger: 500 new social workers,$27 million for literacy curriculum, $6 million for every NYC high school, $5 million for mental health continuum to call experts rather than 911. 
  • NYPD budget seems to have increased this year: Part of the increase is for IT needs. We worked on overtime. Couldn’t fully reduce it, but it’s been substantially decreased.

Ileana Mendez-Penate has spent the last year working with Communities United for Police reform to encourage the city to reduce the NYPD’s budget. Mendez-Penate told PIX11 Wednesday she’s frustrated lawmakers increased the department’s budget.

“It’s really disappointing to hear that the council is celebrating this budget because it feels like they are really out of touch,” she said.

Last summer activists occupied the park outside City Hall for days calling for the NYPD to be defunded by $1 billion. 

Others lauded the new budget’s investment in education.

Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson unveiled the recovery budget Wednesday.

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