Annual Game of Budget Chicken Ends With Mayor Adams and City Council Restoring Library and Arts Funding
(Hell Gate)

Annual Game of Budget Chicken Ends With Mayor Adams and City Council Restoring Library and Arts Funding

And more news for your Friday.

Here's a hallmark of a thriving, functioning city, especially one that likes to market itself as the cultural capital of the world—every year (at least under fiscally conservative leadership regimes), our city's greatest cultural institutions become bargaining chips in the annual budget dance between the mayor and the City Council. 

Consider the library funding battle of the past year: Eric Adams, whose cuts already reduced library service to six days a week last November, had initially proposed eliminating $58 million more from library funding in next year's budget, cuts that the heads of the city's three library systems warned would reduce service to a mere five days a week.

As it turns out, that proposal was, as he himself said, just a "negotiation" tactic, and the mayor and the City Council have reached an agreement to reverse those cuts. Via the New York Times:

A major second wave of cuts to the New York City library system has been averted in an 11th-hour deal announced on Thursday by the City Council and Mayor Eric Adams.
The restoration of $58 million in proposed cuts to the city's three major library systems, part of a broader city budget agreement expected to be announced on Friday, has been one of the main focal points of the City Council speaker, Adrienne Adams. It is expected to allow libraries to reopen on Sundays and remain open on Saturdays.

The deal also restores $53 million in budget cuts for arts institutions, as well as the cuts made to  community composting programs (though perhaps that's too late for all the workers who have already been laid off). 

This is all good news, but it's hard to feel particularly thrilled about a resolution to a series of cuts that closed library doors and got rid of compost sites, one that ultimately felt a bit like smoke and mirrors. Sure, this budget agreement is possibly a sign that Mayor Adams is feeling weakened (maybe he looked at some recent polling). And sure, the City Council gets to give itself a pat on the back for pushing back on the mayor, but meanwhile, has there been any progress at all on reining in the NYPD's outrageous overtime spending?

The budget is due June 30. A "handshake deal" between Mayor Eric Adams and City Council speaker Adrienne Adams is expected at some point today. 

And some links that are always fully funded:

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