NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As Mayor Bill de Blasio proposes a hefty new budget, one thing seemed guaranteed: An intense tug of war with a newly empowered city council determined to fight for homeowners and subway riders.
With the usual fanfare of flags and charts, de Blasio unveiled his new budget on Thursday, reports CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer.
Despite worries about reduced aid from Washington and cuts from Albany, the mayor wants to spend just over $89 billion. That’s $4 billion more than last year.
“The goal (is) to make New York City the fairest big city in America,” said de Blasio.
Specific priorities the mayor is earmarking include:
- $103 million to install 3,000 permanent security bollards
- $41 million for cybersecurity
- $30 to ensure students read on grade level by third grade
- $20 million to cut NYCHA repair backlogs
- $12 million to help homeless students
“Progressives need to be fiscally responsible,” the mayor said.
What may be just as important are the things the mayor did not include, initiatives that are top priorities of the city council:
- Funds for a middle class tax rebate, giving $400 for every homeowner making $150,000 or less.
- Money to allow residents living at or below the poverty level to get half price subway MetroCards: 800,000 people would save $726 a year.
“There’s plenty of money, so we need to make sure the money is being felt by the most New Yorkers,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “We think these two pillars of our budget response help do that.
“The mayor did not include it in his budget, but we are going to fight like hell for this from now until budget adoption,” he said.
Asked about the speaker’s challenge, the mayor sounded conciliatory.
“I respect Johnson, he raises good points,” said de Blasio. “We are going to have a very respectful conversation with the council.”
The mayor and council have to reach a budget by the end of June.