Home News NYC Council to unveil budget plan that would restore Sunday library service

NYC Council to unveil budget plan that would restore Sunday library service

The New York City Council is expected to unveil a budget proposal Monday afternoon that would revive Sunday public library service, reverse other cuts proposed by Mayor Adams and inject an additional $225 million into mental health services.

The left-leaning Council’s plan arrives in response to Adams’ $109 billion blueprint, introduced in January. His plan backed off from some feared budgetary cuts — and came with a larger price tag larger than the $107 billion budget the city adopted last June — but would keep libraries shuttered on Sundays and maintain other cost-saving measures.

Council leaders have held that the city can spend more aggressively. Adams has highlighted the financial stresses of the migrant crisis and the loss of COVID-era financial stimulus money in implementing controversial cuts.

The restoration of funds for library services has been among the Council’s top priorities. The city needs to spend about $58 million more on libraries to bring back Sunday service, said Mandela Jones, a spokesman for the Council.

After the mayor introduced his proposal in January, Councilman Justin Brannan, the powerful chair of the Finance Committee, said reversing cuts to libraries was “first and foremost” among his goals. On Monday morning, the Brooklyn Democrat said by text that the Council’s proposal would deliver a “full restoration” of Sunday library service.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat who is not related to the mayor, was set to fully unveil her chamber’s proposals at a news conference at 12 p.m.

Much of the focus going into the announcement has been fixed on funding of youth services.

New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams speaks during a press conference before a New York City Council meeting at City Hall in Manhattan on Dec. 20, 2023. (Shawn Inglima for New York Daily News)
New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. (Shawn Inglima for New York Daily News)

The mayor’s administration has yet to publicly share plans to save most education programs funded by stimulus dollars. In January, the mayor announced new city funding for an abridged summer program that proved popular during the pandemic.

But the Council’s budget plan is expected to include some support for programming and staff currently funded by expiring pandemic aid. About $1 billion in federal stimulus is still propping up the public schools this year, including some preschool programs and shelter-based education staff.

In total, schools have received more than $7 billion in temporary funding since the pandemic began. While local education officials are asking the state for help plugging the gap, Gov. Hochul proposed changes to the state aid formula that would shortchange city schools $130 million in expected funding, according to officials.


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