State Watch

De Blasio to furlough himself, 494 other staff members amid financial crunch: report

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) will furlough himself and hundreds of other city employees for a week as the government looks to tighten its budget amid shortfalls resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. 

De Blasio’s policy is expected to impact nearly 500 mayoral staff members, according to The New York Times, and yield $860,000 in savings this year. 

The city is currently facing a $9 billion two-year revenue shortfall because of the toll the pandemic has taken on the local economy. 

The head of New York’s Citizens Budget Commission said the move to cut the pay or positions of mayoral staff is long overdue. 

“It would be great if this helps dislodge that inertia,” Andrew Rein said. “It’s hard to say if it will.”

In May, de Blasio said he had no plans to cut his own salary of more than $250,000 per year. 

“[There are] no plans for pay cuts for any New York City employees right now, whether it’s City Hall or any place else, but we never know what the future brings,” he said at the time. “We’re going to be in a horrible budget situation for years, so this borrowing capacity is to give us a fallback no matter what happens up ahead.”

During the first five months of the pandemic, the city lost more than 1 million jobs, only half of which city budget officials estimate the area will gain back as local government goes through the reopening process.

Earlier this summer, de Blasio announced steep cuts to the city’s police department budget, slashing the NYPD by $1 billion amid nationwide calls for police reform.

“I am excited to say that we have a plan that can achieve real reform, that can achieve real redistribution, and at the same time ensure that we keep our city safe,” the mayor said in June.

Tags Bill de Blasio Bill de Blasio Coronavirus COVID-19 Furlough New York City

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