Mayor Eric Adams has ordered another round of sweeping budget cuts to make up for the Big Apple’s massive $7.1 billion shortfall for the next fiscal year – but this time he spared the NYPD, FDNY and DSNY from cutting their spending.
The three departments will be exempt from a January plan that directs city agencies to cut spending by another 5% to ostensibly address the increasingly costly migration crisis, according to a memo obtained by the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget sent to all senior authorities in the authorities on Monday.
“NYPD, FDNY and DSNY are exempt from the January PEG [program to eliminate the gap] “out of concern that further budget cuts at this time could impact public safety, health and cleanliness,” the city’s budget director, Jacques Jiha, wrote in the memo obtained by The Post.
Adams faced sharp criticism last week after announcing a new, updated 2024 financial plan that called for reducing the NYPD’s police force to 29,000 officers by the end of fiscal year 2025 – the lowest number since 1993.
The number of firefighters would also decline as those missing due to injury or illness would be forced to retire.
The $5.6 billion police budget would be cut by $132 million, the fire department budget would be cut by $74 million and sanitation would lose $32 million under Adams’ revised November budget plan.
The drastic cuts were proposed by Hizzoner as part of a September order to reduce city spending by 5% for all city agencies.
Many New Yorkers concerned about safety criticized Hizzoner for the cuts.
Council members, police union leaders, teachers and even Bronx-born rapper Cardi B complained about the cuts.
Dozens of demonstrators flocked to City Hall on Friday, where they called for a “people’s budget.”
While the initial cuts helped balance the budget for the current 2024 fiscal year, which began in July and ends June 30, 2024, the city’s spending across the board remains an issue that needs to be addressed, including for the 2025 fiscal year .
“Simply put, the city must release the FY25 interim budget within just two months and close an unprecedented $7.1 billion gap amid significant funding uncertainties,” Jiha said in the memo.
So in January, City Hall orders another round of 5% spending cuts.
All agencies except the NYPD, FDNY and DSNY must submit proposals by Dec. 8 on how they can cut spending — without introducing layoffs, Jiha added.
The Adams government blames the massive budget shortfalls on the costs associated with providing shelter and caring for a steady influx of migrants.
“The city is unable to maintain the costs of caring for asylum seekers at current levels while maintaining city services and keeping the city safe and clean,” Jiha said.
Therefore, he added, the city will reduce spending on asylum seekers by 20% in both the current and next fiscal year.
City Hall has released few details about how it plans to achieve such a large cut, saying only that it will reduce daily costs and shorten the length of time migrants stay in shelters.
While the NYPD is spared from a second round of cuts, agencies like the Department of Education will face even more cuts after already cutting $547 million from its 2024 budget.
Although the Adams administration has called on its agencies to develop savings initiatives that “avoid, wherever possible, significant disruption to services,” New Yorkers are already beginning to see the impact.
For example, many of the city’s libraries will no longer be open on Sundays, as the last Sunday service will be next week, November 26th, due to the cuts. Additionally, there will soon be fewer spots available for after-school programs for New York children.
“I really wish there were other, less painful ways to deal with this budget crisis,” Jiha said.