Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics


Although the preliminary $73.7 billion budget Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled yesterday doesn't set money aside to pay for billions in back pay for expired union contracts, there are some funds he could tap. That includes $1 billion placed in a rainy day fund, and another $600 million in a general reserve fund. The unions, gearing up for contract negotiations with the new mayor, are indeed eyeing the money. De Blasio said he has no plans to raise taxes to pay for the wages backlog. His spending plan also contains education funds that may not materialize, including $530 million for pre-K from a tax on the wealthy which Albany may not pass, and another $500 million from the state that the mayor believes is owed as part of a settlement in a dispute over school aid. De Blasio's proposed budget also would pay $52.5 million that the housing authority owes for the policing of its projects, and includes around $10 million in extra money for homeless programs.

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