Tag Archives: balanced budget

Balanced budget saves child care, libraries and fire companies


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the mayor's office

Without raising the tax bar, education, child care, libraries and other city services will be spared – despite original concerns of heavy cuts – in the 2013 Fiscal Year budget, city officials announced Monday, June 25 attributing the balanced budget to several cost-saving methods.

“When times were better, the city set aside surplus revenue — and when the first storm clouds gathered in 2007, we began cutting budgets,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “These actions — and our work over the past decade to diversify the economy and make it less reliant on Wall Street — have allowed us avoid the severe service cuts that many other cities are facing.”

About $150 million will be added from the mayor’s May Executive Budget, which proposed a large child care cut, to the Administration for Children’s Services Child Care Program and the Department of Youth and Community Development Out-of-School Time program, ensuring child care stays well-funded in the City.

The funding is a major accomplishment for child care, said Gregory Brender, policy advisor for United Neighborhood Houses.

“It’s a big victory for child care,” he said. “Losing spots was terrifying to parents around the city.”

In addition, roughly 1,000 teachers will be added, it was announced, and several hundred teacher’s aide jobs will be spared.

Because of about $90 million going toward the library system, more than 600 Queens Library jobs will be saved, according to a statement from the Library. There will also be no cuts to hours, but there will be limited reductions to services, said Joanne King, Queens Library associate director of communications.

“Our advocates in City Hall have kept libraries a priority through the last several budgets,” she said. “We know the people of Queens will be very appreciative.”

Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, who chairs the Fire and Criminal Justice Committee, said the twenty fire houses saved from elimination was a relief to New Yorkers and they would continue to keep the city safe.

“We can all rest assured knowing that the people of the city of New York will be safe,” Crowley said. “Closing even one fire company would have reduced response times and people’s lives would have hung in the balance. So for me today it’s gratifying to know that’s one less worry.”

Although the budget is balanced and ahead of the June 30 deadline, the Mayor’s office acknowledged there will be a $2.5 billion budget gap for the 2014 fiscal year.

“We face a significant challenge again next year, but given the effective and fiscally responsible partnership we’ve had with the Council – and the leadership we know we can rely on from Speaker Christine Quinn – I’m confident we’ll meet any challenges that arise,” Bloomberg said.

Additional reporting by Billy Rennison

Cuomo, Legislature reach deal on balanced, on-time state budget


| brennison@queenscourier.com

GovBudgetSpeechw

For the second straight year, state politicians have reached an agreement on an on-time balanced budget.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the $132.6 billion budget in a joint statement with Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Tuesday, March 27.

“For the second straight year, New York State has worked and created a balanced budget based on fiscal responsibility, job creation, government efficiency and the premise that we must invest in our communities,” Cuomo said.

This is the second consecutive year with an overall cut in spending, the first time this has happened in the last 30 year, the governor’s office said.

The Legislature is expected to pass the budget by Friday, two days before the state’s fiscal year begins on Sunday, April 1.

Skelos said that Albany has “turned the corner” and “puts [the Legislature] in a position to deliver another early budget that controls spending and taxes.”

Last year’s budget was the first on-time spending plan since 2006.

“This budget includes much needed increases in education spending, including an increase in base aid for community colleges for the first time in five years, and vital restorations to programs that protect our state’s neediest citizens,” said Silver.

The budget also established the New York Works Task Force which will “invest billions of dollars to rebuild the state’s roads, bridges, parks and other infrastructure and create tens of thousands of jobs.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg hailed the budget as the best for the city in a decade.

“Finally, an almost unprecedented accomplishment: it appears that the budget includes no new unfunded mandates for New York City. We are hopeful this commitment to fiscal responsibility continues throughout the rest of the legislative session,” the mayor said.

Bloomberg also praised Cuomo’s “bold leadership in “making Albany work for the people – and for the City of New York.”

Other budget highlights include:

- Maintaining a 2 percent growth in year to year state spending.

- An $805 million increase in education spending to approximately $20.4 billion.

- A 5 percent increase in June to the welfare grant followed by another 5 percent in October.

- An additional $31.3 million in support for community colleges.

- Providing $14.3 million for urban and rural community-based organizations that help create home ownership opportunities and assist with the development and management of affordable rental housing.

- Supplying $9 million for the continuation of mortgage foreclosure counseling services.