#CareNotCuts: Where did the NYC budget land & what’s next!
So what happened with our city budget campaign?
- Our campaign mobilized thousands of New Yorkers and grew the public opposition against Mayor Adams’ dangerous budget. We led 21 actions against Mayor Adams, forcing him to finally answer New Yorkers in public. We mobilized nearly 6,000 #CareNotCuts emails and letters from New Yorkers to the Mayor and the Council. We reached over 450,000 New Yorkers with digital ads explaining how communities would suffer due to the Mayor’s cuts.
- We won back some funding for crucial programs! On June 30th, the city budget passed, with fewer cuts than Mayor Adams’ proposals. We clawed back bare minimum funding for libraries, CUNY, childcare, housing, schools, adult literacy, and investments in vital resources. These wins demonstrate the power of organizing, and the critical opposition role of the council.
- Restorations of some cuts weren’t enough for our coalition to support budget passage. The NYPD and Department of Corrections budgets remained intact or increased while crucial services like universal 3-K, services for incarcerated New Yorkers, and social services got the knife. Our coalition laid out clear budget demands, and when those were not met, we asked council members to vote against the final budget.
- The budget passed, but opposition against Mayor Adams’ dangerous agenda grew within the Council. The budget was voted on on June 30th, but 11 allied Council Members voted “no” — nearly double from last year! Most Council Members acknowledged the cuts were the Mayor’s doing and vowed to keep fighting against the Mayor’s regressive agenda. Last week, the Council showed its backbone by overriding a Mayoral veto on crucial housing voucher bills.
So, what’s in the FY24 city budget?
- The overall city budget did go up, but has massive gaps for essential services while police and jail budgets escape the knife. The higher city budget is balanced, but the Mayor chose to spend more on police and jail budgets, overtime, and back pay than filling holes in essential services.
- The FY24 budget represents $722 million of cuts to essential services and 2791 positions lost, including a rollback of universal 3-K ($567 million). This includes community development & youth, aging, human rights, consumer and worker protection, cultural affairs, homeless services, buildings, health, transportation, social services, hospitals, housing preservation and development, parks, and public housing.
- Considering inflation and FY23 modified budget levels, the cuts to essential services are estimated to be even higher, closer to $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion by conservative estimates, respectively. This is not accounting for labor costs, which should mean higher agency budgets.
- A breakdown of these cuts and positions lost per agency, FY23 adopted to FY24 adopted, include:
|Agency||2024-2023 Adopted||2024-2023 cuts considering inflation||Agency Headcount Difference FY23-FY24|
|Department of Aging||-$18,766,765||-$38,226,853||0|
|Human Rights Commission||-$1,148,670||-$1,696,140||-3|
|Consumer & Worker Protection||-$2,225,095||-$4,742,107||-38|
|Dept. of Buildings (Safety)||-$19,541,710||-$28,137,538||-133|
|Health & Mental Hygiene||-$82,686,946||-$164,929,144||-237|
|Dept. of Social Services||$209,601,206*||-$196,166,696*||-889|
|Youth & Community Dev.||$231,238,437||$190,514,841||-4|
|Health & Hospitals||$737,179,085*||$698,059,289*||0|
|Housing Preservation & Development (HPD)||$156,362,333||$111,117,281||-34|
|Dept. of Education||$466,996,742||-$650,155,366||-1114|
*(accounts for influx of asylum seekers + existing housing crisis)
- School budgets were mostly spared, but uncertainty remains. A concerning discrepancy (reduction or cut) between FY23 end of year school budgets and FY24 beginning of the year school budgets impacts about 20% of schools. Some principals are reporting that they are still having to excise staff. Mayor Adams has not ruled out mid-year cuts to schools by November.
- Modest restorations and adjustments in childcare budgets do not make up for deep cuts. Mayor Adams’ gutting of Universal 3K cut of $567 million, as well as a $4M shortfall for Promise NYC child care for immigrant families, remains in the budget. An additional 800 extended day 3K seats is a good step in improving 3K, but there’s no commitment on pay parity or outreach.
- Some restorations and investments in housing. Position cuts remain a concern. NYCHA readiness unit and senior meals being restored is a big positive. The $4 billion in capital funds to build more affordable housing and conduct NYCHA repairs is a crucially important win. But, it’s difficult to offset the other cuts being made to housing and social services positions, especially positions that are responsible for building housing and processing housing vouchers.
- Some but not enough investment in community safety. Investments include $184.9M in Crisis Management System Violence Prevention Programs, $121.2M for alternatives to incarceration and detention (ATIs/ATD), $100M in NYCCare (a community healthcare program), $14.6M in Overdose Prevention Services, $2.4M for Trauma Recovery Centers. However, important increases to supportive housing and safety teams were not funded.
- The NYPD budget rose by at least $317 million and this does not include overtime, budget modification, fringe or benefit costs, and labor contracts which make this increase likely much higher. NYPD labor contract cost about $1.6 billion, and the NYPD’s overtime spending is expected to remain substantially over budget. While the NYPD did reduce approved headcount, historically NYPD hiring has not followed their approved headcount. For example, the NYPD has been carrying 500 extra managers this entire past year.
- The DOC decreased by $109 million, but this does not factor in labor contracts which likely add more funds into the DOC budget. This decrease includes $17 million lost in social services for incarcerated people at Rikers, which means that $17 million does not cut jailing budgets but rather literal lifelines for New Yorkers who are awaiting trial on the island
The People’s Plan is using the summer to reflect, regroup, and plan the next fight. We expect there will be more budget advocacy needed in the fall if the Mayor tries to make mid-year cuts to schools and continues his war on poor and working class people in the upcoming budget modification. Join us then to keep fighting for a people’s budget and care, not cuts and not criminalization!