NYC budget highlights public safety, economic growth, mayor says

Mayor Eric Adams is proposing a $99.7 billion budget for the City of New York, promising sweeping investments in public safety and economic growth. The keys, Adams said, to the city's comeback.

Adams strolled onto the stage of the Kings Theater in Brooklyn on Tuesday, with Frank Sinatra's New York tune pumping in the background and clutching in one hand a framed photo of his late mother. The mayor was set to hold his inauguration against the backdrop of the same historic theater but had to cancel due to a spike in COVID cases at the time. Instead, the mayor was sworn in on New Year's Eve in Times Square after the ball dropped. 

The first 100 days of Adams' tenure have been tumultuous with violent crime spiking, the subway's safety called into question, and jobs still struggling to recover from the pandemic.

But Adams took time to highlight his wins, saying that in the first 100 days the NYPD took 2,300 illegal guns off the street, 50,000 new jobs were created, 1,000 new shelter beds were set up, and school attendance increased by 73%.

"Despite the fear, the trauma, the uncertainty, and the heartbreak, we kept going," Adams said. "Because every New Yorker knew in their hearts that our city would come back. It's already happening. I can feel it everywhere I go. The state of the city is strong. Because New Yorkers have never been stronger. We've been through a lot. We have struggled and survived."

Adams' budget proposal was $1.2 billion higher than his preliminary budget proposal in January but included placing $6.3 billion in reserves. 

For public safety, Adams dedicated $265 million, which includes funds for his subway safety plan, which has more officers patrolling the trains, and for homelessness services. 

He is also proposing creating a new gun crime unit in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to speed up DNA analysis. He also budgeted $55 million to expand a program that sends emergency medical technicians and mental health professionals to mental health 911 calls rather than the police.

With public safety still top of mind, Adams said he is proposing to increase the police budget by roughly $200 million to nearly $5.6 billion.

"When you hear people say we don't need our police, let me tell you right here and right now I will support my police and we will make our city safer," Adams said.

Adams is proposing increasing access to childcare so families of four making less than $55,000 a year can pay $10 a week for childcare instead of $55 a week. 

Adams also is looking at investing $5 billion in additional funding for affordable housing over the next decade. However, the City Council speaker and advocates were hoping for roughly $4 billion to be spent annually on affordable and supportive housing.

"This is the biggest housing investment in generations, and it will impact many generations to come," Adams said. "This money will help make critical repairs at NYCHA, subsidize those who need help staying in their existing homes, and build more deeply affordable housing for the entire city."

Adams set aside $285 million for education and career pathways, including adding 10,000 slots for Summer Rising, increasing capacity to 210,000 K-12 students. 

He also blocked out $118 million for clean and safe public spaces, $10 million for immigrant community support, and $51 million to fight food insecurity and promote healthy lifestyles. 

Now City Council members will hold targeted hearings on the mayor's budget proposal until June. Council members and Adams have to reach a finalized budget deal by midnight on June 30.