De Blasio Uses NYC Budget Savings for Spending on Health, Energy

(Bloomberg) -- New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is on track to wrest $916 million of savings from his streamlining push, allowing him to finance building, health and other programs while holding spending at about $92.5 billion in the coming year.

Those savings exceed the $750 million goal he set in February. Rather than cut spending, unused funds will be shifted to finance $150 million “in additional critical needs identified since February,” the mayor said as he presented his final spending plan for fiscal 2020. The proposal will likely be modified before it’s approved by the City Council over the next two months.

“We’re still in an era defined by fiscal caution, which means we’re focused on deepening our savings and making strategic investments in core priorities,” de Blasio said in a prepared statement.

The mayor said he had to find $300 million to cover reduced state aid, an assertion Governor Andrew Cuomo has disputed. City savings included more than $106 million in reduced school programs; $6 million to cultural institutions and a consolidation of senior centers among New York City Housing Authority developments, the mayor said.

His spending priorities include $60 million to retrofit city buildings for energy efficiency, $59 million in health programs, including measles vaccination; and $22 million to improve accuracy in the 2020 Census. The budget also includes $6 million for “emergency repairs” to air conditioning, heating and plumbing at public housing community centers.

Capital spending financed through bonds includes $16 billion for school expansion and renovation; $13 billion for road and bridge repair; $10 billion for new and preserved “affordable housing;” $9 billion to build small, locally-based jails; and $7 billion for water-supply maintenance.

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