Mayor Eric Adams has ordered another round of sweeping budget cuts to balance the Big Apple’s bulging $7.1 billion gap for next fiscal year — but this time he spared the NYPD, FDNY and DSNY from slashing their spending.
The three departments will be exempt from a January plan directing city agencies to trim spending by another 5% to reportedly counteract the increasingly costly migrant crisis, according to a memo sent by the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget to all agency leaders Monday.
“NYPD, FDNY, and DSNY are exempted from the January PEG [program to eliminate the gap] out of concern that additional budget cuts at this time could impact public safety, health and cleanliness,” City Budget Director Jacques Jiha wrote in the memo, obtained by The Post.
Adams was slammed last week after announcing a new, updated 2024 financial plan that would see the NYPD’s force slashed to 29,000 cops by the end of fiscal year 2025 — the lowest body count since 1993.
The number of firefighters would also take a dip as those who are out due to an injury or illness will be forced into retirement.
The police budget of $5.6 billion would be cut by $132 million, the fire department budget would be slashed by $74 million and sanitation would lose $32 million under Adams’ revamped November budget plan.
The severe slashes were proposed by Hizzoner amid a September order to reduce city spending by 5% across all city agencies.
Many New Yorkers concerned about safety bashed Hizzoner for the cuts.
Council members, police union leaders, teachers, and even Bronx-born rapper Cardi B complained about the reductions.
Dozens of protestors descended on City Hall Friday where they called for a “people’s budget.”
While the initial reductions helped balance the current fiscal year 2024 budget, which began in July and ends on June 30, 2024, the city’s spending down the line remains a problem to be solved, including for fiscal year 2025.
“Put simply, within just two months the city must release the FY25 Preliminary Budget and close an unprecedented gap of $7.1 billion in the face of substantial funding uncertainties,” Jiha said in the memo.
Thus, City Hall is ordering another round of 5% cuts to spending in January.
All agencies other than the NYPD, FDNY and DSNY must submit proposals for how they will trim spending — without implementing layoffs — by Dec. 8, Jiha added.
The Adams administration has blamed costs associated with providing shelter and care for a steady flow of migrants for the massive budget holes.
“The city cannot sustain asylum seeker care expenses at current levels, and at the same time, maintain city services and keep the city safe and clean,” Jiha said.
Therefore, he added, the city will cut asylum-seeker expenses by 20% in both the current and upcoming fiscal years.
City Hall has released few details on how it plans to achieve such a steep cut, only stating that it will reduce per-diem costs and shorten the length of shelter stays for migrants.
While the NYPD is spared from a second round of penny-pinching, agencies like the Department of Education will be tasked with cutting back even more after already eliminating $547 million from its 2024 fiscal budget.
Though the Adams administration has asked its agencies to come up with savings initiatives that will avoid “meaningfully impacting services where possible,” New Yorkers are already starting to see the effects.
For instance, many of the city’s libraries will no longer be open on Sundays, with the last day of Sunday service being next week, Nov. 26, due to the cuts. There will also soon be fewer after-school program seats available to NYC kids.
“I truly wish that there were other, less painful, ways to address this budget crisis,” Jiha said.