Quinn Mum on Budget (update)
May 12th, 2010

Council Speaker Christine Quinn isn’t letting anything slip out about this year’s budget negotiations.

“We’re in the beginning of the budget negotiation process,” said Quinn. “We take the cuts that are proposed to any and all entities in government and outside of government seriously. We’ll be reviewing them and our final decision will be reflected in the budget.”

Quinn was responding to a question on whether the council would move to restore a cut to the public advocate’s office, which is slated to get $1.75 million in fiscal year 2011. The budget for the office in fiscal year 2010 is about $2.8 million, according to the mayor’s executive budget. Much of that did not go to newly minted Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, but to his predecessor Betsy Gotbaum, who failed to curb spending at her office after a 40 percent cut in the budget last year.

In March, the adminsitration infused the public advocate’s office with $850,000 so it could continue to operate.

Last year, the council did not step in to save Betsy. Asked if it would consider stepping in to help out de Blasio, Quinn wouldn’t say.

“I am not going to negotiate the budget in the press,” Quinn said.

De Blasio’s office will also have to compete against other agencies and departments for the council’s budget love. It very well could be the public advocate versus 20 fire companies threatened with closure, 16 day care centers set to shutter and thousands of classrooms without teachers.

UPDATE: de Blasio’s office sent over this comment from the public advocate.

I completely understand that the city is facing tough economic times and all branches of government should cut spending, but it is misleading to say that the Public Advocates Office is receiving the same cuts as other agencies. The Office has seen a 45 percent budget reduction in the past two years, and has lost more than half of its staff. This not the way we should fund a Charter-mandated office.

By on May 12, 2010, 2:20 pm
In category: Albany,City Hall,Economy,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Land Use,Law,nextNY,Public Finance | Comments Off on Quinn Mum on Budget (update)

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