NEW YORK - New York City is facing an overwhelming budget deficit due to the coronavirus pandemic, and in order to provide essential services, Mayor Bill de Blasio is instructing the city’s agencies to lay off 22,000 public workers on October 1, unless the city can find another source of funding at the eleventh hour.
“The overwhelming cost of local government is personnel, where we put our money is to the people who provide services to New Yorkers, whether first responders, healthcare workers, sanitation workers, educators, you name it,” De Blasio said.
The proposed layoffs would be on a scale not seen since the 1970’s fiscal crisis.
De Blasio is pushing companies to hire while also calling the looming layoffs a reality, but a reality that should not come as a surprise. De Blasio says that the city informed labor unions about the crisis months ago, the result of the coronavirus pandemic devastating the city, and using unplanned money from the annual fiscal budget.
“Here’s the reality, we all hoped and prayed there would be a stimulus, that appears to be dead now,” de Blasio said. “We’re going to Albany, to ask for appropriate long-term borrowing capacity, that would stave off the layoffs.”
De Blasio said he is also instructing city agencies to come up with their own plans to save money. On Thursday, the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials held a virtual discussion about the economic effects of COVID-19 across the state. They are pushing to secure money from the federal government.
According to De Blasio, cuts would be across the board but dodged answering if the NYPD would be spared.
FOX 5 NY reached out to Governor Andrew Cuomo's office to see if the state is considering loaning money to the city but did not receive a response.