The city's next mayor got a clearer picture this evening of what he or she will inherit on January 1, 2014, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Council announced the finalized budget for the next fiscal year.
The budget comes balanced and on time, an achievement Bloomberg credited to "the skillful leadership of [City Council Speaker] Christine Quinn." Bloomberg also acknowledged Financial Committee Chair Dominic Recchia, in an off-the-cuff nod that prompted hooting and clapping from Recchia's colleagues in the Council.
Recchia said the obstacles faced in coming up with this budget—"one natural, Superstorm Sandy, and one manmade, the federal sequestration"—brought everyone to the table ready to work hard and make necessary sacrifices.
The budget includes an additional $58 million for the New York City Housing Authority, which Bloomberg noted lost federal funding due to sequestration. Bloomberg took the opportunity to slam federal legislators for a "shameful" performance in abandoning those most in need.
The budget increased funds to the public library system, which lawmakers promise will allow for city libraries to remain open, on average, more than five days a week systemwide.
The mayor's storm preparation proposals have been fully funded at $250 million, with approximately $100 million going to infrastructural investments by city agencies, and the remaining funding specific projects in high-risk areas like Staten Island and the Rockaways.
While this 2014 budget is balanced, the city, and its next mayor, faces a budget gap of approximately $2 billion in 2015.
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