New York Note – State and City Budgets, Council Committees, Mayoral Vetoes

January 22, 2024

Governor Hochul Releases FY25 Executive Budget

On Tuesday, Governor Hochul unveiled her FY25 Executive Budget. She proposed a balanced $233B budget, which does not propose any increases in individual or corporate taxes but closes a $43.B deficit, thanks in part to strong tax revenues. Notably for the five boroughs, the State includes $2.4B to support migrants in NYC. The Governor’s proposal also included $10M for new literacy method training for teachers, $15M to develop supportive housing for people with intellectual disabilities, $40.2M to combat retail theft, and $2.5M for operating costs in the Empire AI consortium for artificial intelligence research. The NYS legislature will begin joint budget hearings tomorrow, before releasing the Assembly and State one-house budgets. The state constitution mandates approval of the state budget by April 1. Our full memo on the Governor’s FY25 Executive Budget is available here.

Mayor Adams Releases FY25 Preliminary Budget

On Tuesday, Mayor Adams released his FY25 Preliminary Budget. The Preliminary Budget is balanced and includes $109.4B in FY25. The Mayor estimates a decrease in costs to accommodate asylum seekers, primarily due to the new 30 and 60-day limits on shelter stays. Unlike the November plan, the Preliminary Budget did not cut each agency’s budget the same percentage. Agencies held harmless from cuts in the Preliminary Budget include FDNY, NYPD, DSNY, and all three library systems. Agencies with a reduced PEG program include the Department of Education, Department of Social Services, Department of Youth and Community Development, and Department for the Aging. The Mayor also announced a variety of budget restorations in the week leading up to the Preliminary Budget, including the April 2024 Police Academy class, a fifth firefighter at 20 engine companies, restored service for 23,000 litter baskets, and the Parks Opportunity Program. The Council will now hold budget hearings in the coming weeks to discuss the impact of the Preliminary Budget on the City’s agencies and the services they provide. Our full memo on the Mayor’s FY25 Preliminary Budget is available here.

NYC Council Committee Chairs

Speaker Adams has assigned leadership and committee assignments for the 2024-2025 NYC Council session. While several Council Members maintained their committee Chair positions, some new Chairs include Carlina Rivera for Committee on Cultural Affairs, Julie Menin for Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection, Lincoln Restler for Committee on Governmental Operations, Oswald Feliz for Committee on Small Business, and Keith Powers for Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Elections. New members Yusef Salaam and Chris Banks also received Chair positions, with Salaam chairing Public Safety and Banks chairing Public Housing. While some have speculated that progressive members of the Council are being punished for their votes against the FY24 budget, Speaker Adams disputed this, stating, “there shouldn’t be an expectation that committee assignments remain static across different legislative sessions… There should never be a place, including the City Council, where our energy gets stagnant in certain places.”

Mayor Adams Vetoes Solitary Confinement and Police Transparency Bills

On Friday, Mayor Adams vetoed two Council bills that would have banned solitary confinement in city jails and required police officers to document more interactions with civilians. He noted that “we cannot handcuff the police” and expressed concerns that these bills would make the City less safe and force officers to perform unnecessary administrative tasks. Speaker Adams has indicated that the Council is prepared to override both mayoral vetoes, since the bills were passed with veto-proof majorities in the previous session. These would be the second and third times the Council has overridden a mayoral veto, following an override of an expansion of the CityFHEPS housing voucher program.

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