NYC budget deal shifts a billion from NYPD, but threat of municipal layoffs still looms

Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a media availability on COVID-19. City Hall. Saturday, April 11, 2020. (Photo by Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

Hours before the annual June 30 deadline, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a municipal budget deal for New York City that slashes $7 billion in spending, and shifts away a billion dollars in resources from the NYPD toward youth and education programs.

The budget also includes $1 billion in labor savings with the layoffs of 22,000 municipal workers this fall still on the table if the city and unions reps can not come to an agreement.

The budget deal de Blasio outlined Tuesday afternoon comes out to $88.1 billion in spending, a slight increase from the previously proposed $87.3 billion plan. But both plans represent a dramatic reduction from the original $95.3 billion spending plan that de Blasio announced in January.

Weeks later, the city became gripped by the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in widespread shutdowns that tanked the economy and forced the city to start tightening its belt.

Then, in May and June, protests broke out across the city following the police-involved murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Advocates called upon de Blasio and the City Council to “defund” the NYPD and move resources toward enrichment programs benefitting communities in need.

De Blasio announced that the budget contains $430 million in cuts and $537 million in shifted funds from the NYPD’s capital funding. Now, $115 million of those funds will be used to provide Summer Youth Programming to 100,000 young people. Initially, de Blasio’s 2021 budget had proposed slashing Summer Youth Programming entirely.

Another $116 million will go toward education while $134 million will go to family and social services. Of the funds that will be diverted, $450 million will be shifted from the NYPD to New York Housing Authority and Parks youth recreation centers and $87 million to NYCHA broadband expansion effort.

Even so, as part of the budget, $400 million will be cut from the Department of Education.

The mayor confirmed that the city will cancel the upcoming July class of NYPD officers lowering police headcount by 1,163. The city will reduce overtime expenditures for NYPD officers by $296 million with reducing non-personnel costs and contracts. De Blasio added that the city will transfer NYPD crossing guard and homeless outreach responsibilities.

The city will now use the funds slated for a new police precinct in Southeast Queens for a new Roy Wilkins Community Center in Jamaica.

“This is real redistribution. This is taking resources and putting them where they are needed most with a particular focus on our young people,” de Blasio told reporters on Tuesday. “It fits what we have been trying to do for years.”

The City Council is set to vote on the plan early this evening.

This story originally appeared on amny.com