Migrant crisis to cause 5% across-the-board budget cuts for all NYC agencies

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, November 17, 2023
Migrant crisis to "extremely painful" budget cuts in NYC: Mayor Adams
Sonia Rincon has more on the expected budget cuts.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- In the wake of the migrant crisis, Mayor Eric Adams says he is being forced to slash the city's budget and will likely impact every city agency.

Adams warned of "extremely painful" budget cuts to offset hundreds of millions of dollars in cost from sheltering and providing services for migrants.

Part of the plan involves shrinking the NYPD by 13.5% over the next two years, which Adams says he will do by postponing the next five academy classes. The cuts also mean reduced trash pick-ups and cuts to the city's pre-K programs.

Adams said he is balancing the budget "with minimum disruption to services and no tax increases."

"If the circumstances don't change dramatically, city agencies will be forced to reduce city funded spending by 5% two more times within the next six months," he said. "That will mean disruptions to the services we all rely on."

Some officials, like City Comptroller Brad Lander says that budget gaps already existed before the migrant crisis.

"City Hall should stop suggesting that asylum seekers are the reason for imposing severe cuts when they are only contributing to a portion of these budget gaps, much of which already existed," Lander said.

A statement from the City Council says the asylum crisis is "not the only factor contributing to our fiscal reality."

The Council wants the city to shift services from "for-profit companies that cost the City billions of dollars ... to non-profit organizations with more expertise and commitment to the long-term public interest of the city."

The Council has the power to block aspects of the November budget modification, and council members have already raised concerns about the extent of service reductions and their impact on the most vulnerable.

"The Administration's approach of reducing budgets of all agencies broadly through additional cuts and a hiring freeze, along with inflicting cuts on our libraries, CUNY, and cultural institutions, is too blunt and not the prudent or sole choice," the Council's statement said.

The 5% cuts for all city agencies will be followed by another 5% cut in January and possibly yet another 5% cut in April, unless the city receives a lot more federal and state migrant crisis aid.

Spending on the asylum seeker crisis is also expected to be cut by 20%.

Other cuts include:

-NYPD is eliminating the next five academy classes, dropping the number of uniformed officers to 29,000 by July 2025, the lowest headcount since the mid '90s.

-FDNY is contemplating some reductions to overtime, and looking at eliminating civilian vacancies and light duty officer positions.

-NYC Public Schools is reducing Summer Rising program hours for middle schoolers, ending the day at 4 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. and not operating Fridays and a reduction to universal 3K and preK programs.

-Sanitation -- Rollout of composting will be delayed in the Bronx and Staten Island, from April to October, and the agency will be reducing street litter basket collection.

Libraries -- The Brooklyn, Queens and New York public libraries said that they are cutting Sunday service in response to the cuts.

Budget cuts will go into effect immediately, but will go to the City Council next week for approval.

ALSO READ | Flight forced to return to New York City's JFK Airport due to loose horse

A 747 cargo plane carrying a horse had to dump 20 tons of fuel and return to JFK after the horse escaped its crate inside the plane.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New York City news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.