Mayor Adams unveils sweeping NYC budget cuts, blaming migrant crisis

Mayor Eric Adams’ administration announced on Thursday that the city is enacting around $4 billion in budget cuts over the next year and a half that will cancel the hiring of new police officers, slash the education budget by $1 billion and close libraries on Sundays. 

City officials say this is all due to the migrant crisis and without additional federal aid – these cuts will only continue to grow.

"This is the most painful exercise I’ve ever done in my professional life," Adams said.

These cuts go into effect immediately.

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"That will mean disruptions to the services you all rely on," Adams said in a pre-recorded video.

There will be expansive 5 percent budget cuts at every city agency, which are expected to happen again two more times next year.

Nothing is untouched.

For the first time in decades, the NYPD will have fewer than 30,000 employees, and they will also be postponing the next 5 classes of officers.

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"This is truly a disaster for every New Yorker who cares about safe streets," PBA President Patrick Hendry said. "Cops are already stretched to our breaking point, and these cuts will return us to staffing levels we haven’t seen since the crime epidemic of the ‘80s and ‘90s. We cannot go back there. We need every level of government to work together to find a way to support police officers and protect New York City’s thirty years of public safety progress."

City Council Finance Chair Justin Brannan agreed that this is not the time to make cuts to public safety.

"If you talk to most people on the street, they want to see more cops not less," Brannan said.

The city has taken in more than 142,000 migrants since last spring and the Adams administration blames this crisis for these cuts.

City officials say, without additional federal aid, these cuts will continue.

The Adams administration also plans to make about 20 percent cuts to migrant services but wouldn’t go into specifics.

"We're taking a look at everything," Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol said. "One of the first things that we are looking at is the asylum seeker operations and where we can be making savings."

Here’s a breakdown of some of the other major cuts:

  • For the FDNY: Overtime costs will be reduced, any civilian vacancies will be eliminated, as well as light duty firefighter positions.
  • For the Education Department: $547 million will be cut this fiscal year and another $600 million in 2025 – a total of 1 billion dollars will be slashed over two years. Middle schoolers will see reduced hours for the Summer Rising summer program – the Friday program will be eliminated for middle school participants and the summer camp day will be shortened and end at 4 pm instead of 6 pm. Additionally, thousands of spots for universal prekindergarten will be cut.
  • Libraries will also see major funding cuts and library leaders say that starting in December this will force them to close most of their branches on Sundays.

"We also will be reducing spending on library materials, programming, and building maintenance and repairs," NYC library leaders said. "Without sufficient funding, we cannot sustain our current levels of service, and any further cuts to the Libraries’ budgets will, unfortunately, result in deeper service impacts."

"I think this is a moment that really calls for a thoughtful surgeon's blade, not these wholesale cuts across the board," Brannan emphasized.

And these are not the only budget cuts coming - the Adams administration has warned city agencies they should brace for an additional two rounds of 5 percent budget cuts early next year – totaling another 10 percent – if the city does not receive more state or federal aid to help with the migrant crisis.