De Blasio Budget Director Gets Praise, Muffins at First Council Hearing

Finance Chair Julissa Ferrera and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito speak at budget hearing
Finance Chair Julissa Ferrera and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito speak at budget hearing

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s budget director appeared in front of the City Council today–but instead of the usual heated grilling, was met with apologetic and thankful council members who celebrated the mayor’s agenda.

They even offered him muffins. Continue reading “De Blasio Budget Director Gets Praise, Muffins at First Council Hearing”

De Blasio Squirrels Away Money Ahead of Contract Negotiations

Bill de Blasio presenting his first budget. (Photo: Poll/The New York Times)
Bill de Blasio presenting his first budget. (Photo: Pool/The New York Times)

Mayor Bill de Blasio today unveiled his $73.7 billion preliminary budget plan for the next fiscal year–squirreling away more than $1 billion in surplus money left by the previous administration as he prepares to enter negotiations with the city’s 150-plus municipal labor unions, which are all working under expired contracts and itching for pay hikes and retroactive raises. Continue reading “De Blasio Squirrels Away Money Ahead of Contract Negotiations”

De Blasio Nearly Doubles Budget for His Old Office

Public Advocate Tish James, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Facebook)
Public Advocate Tish James, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Facebook)

Mayor Bill de Blasio today nearly doubled the budget for his former office and gave huge boosts to borough presidents across the five boroughs.

The public advocate’s office, currently occupied by Tish James, will receive an extra $700,000 in the fiscal year starting July 1, administration officials revealed today. That will bring her office’s budget up from a meager $1.6 million budget up to to $2.3 million. Continue reading “De Blasio Nearly Doubles Budget for His Old Office”

De Blasio Adds $35 Million to Snow Removal Budget

Mayor Bill de Blasio shovels snow
Bill de Blasio shoveling in front of his house. (Photo: Rob Bennett/NYC Mayor’s Office)

Snow removal costs keep piling up.

In his preliminary budget address this afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city is adding $35 million to the Sanitation Department’s budget to account for snow removal. Continue reading “De Blasio Adds $35 Million to Snow Removal Budget”

De Blasio Puts More Than $1 Billion on Reserve Ahead of Labor Contract Negotiations

Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty)
Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty)

Mayor Bill de Blasio has stowed away at least $1 billion in surplus money that could be used to settle the city’s more than 150 open labor contracts, according to city council members leaving the mayor’s preliminary budget briefing. Continue reading “De Blasio Puts More Than $1 Billion on Reserve Ahead of Labor Contract Negotiations”

Bill de Blasio’s First Budget Full of Uncertainty

Bill de Blasio announcing two new appointments today.
Bill de Blasio announcing two new appointments today.

Mayor Bill de Blasio will lay out his first preliminary budget proposal this afternoon, outlining his spending priorities and the fiscal challenges he’ll be facing over the next four years.

But the big question will be how Mr. de Blasio sets the stage for negotiations with the city’s more that 150 municipal labor unions, which have been operating for years under expired contracts–leaving tens of thousands of municipal workers itching not just for future pay hikes, but retroactive raises. Continue reading “Bill de Blasio’s First Budget Full of Uncertainty”

‘The State Will Be Proud to Pay for It’: Cuomo Unveils Pre-K Plan Without de Blasio’s Tax

Andrew Cuomo giving the pre-K part of his budget address.
Andrew Cuomo giving the pre-K part of his budget address.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo drew the next line in the sand over funding universal prekindergarten in his 2014 budget address today, side-stepping Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature tax-the-rich plan.

Mr. de Blasio, of course, made the expansion of universal pre-K his signature campaign issue, which was tied to a tax on the city’s highest-income earners. But such a tax requires approval from Albany and Mr. Cuomo made it clear today he is not on board by proposing an alternate funding mechanism. Continue reading “‘The State Will Be Proud to Pay for It’: Cuomo Unveils Pre-K Plan Without de Blasio’s Tax”