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Citizens Budget Commission Believes NYC's Savings Plans Will Work to Close the City's Budget Gap

INTRO: Mayor Eric Adams has directed the City’s agencies to implement yet another savings plan to address New York’s budget deficit.

There are already three existing savings plans to close the gap in our City’s fiscal budget. And some people are concerned about the impact these plans could have on current services.

Joining me today is Ana Champeny - the Vice President of Research for Citizens Budget Commission. They issued a report yesterday analyzing the Mayor’s Administration’s prior savings plans… which give us some clues into how this plan might work

I asked Ana whether it seems like the last three plans have cut the cost and how they’ve affected services in general.

CHAMPENY: Yes, they have, by and large been able to find these savings and implement these programs without directly reducing program budgets and programs services.

When you're trying to balance revenues and expenditures, one option is to reduce your spending. The other is to increase your revenue.

This is all within a backdrop of a very uncertain economic situation. You know, we have many economists who think we're going to head into a recession.

And that extra uncertainty is part of why the administration is trying to be cautious in its forecasting but also prudent in trying to run efficient and cost-effective government programs.

TRAN: It is assumed that these savings plans would save 3 billion dollars a year. What would these 3 billion be spent on?

CHAMPENY: The savings are roughly 2.3 billion in the current fiscal year and then 3 billion in each of the upcoming fiscal years. The city is required to balance its budget, which means that its revenues need to match its expenditures. So these plans, which were implemented on February 22, November 22, and January 23, were done in part to balance fiscal years 23 and 24.

TRAN: I think when the public heard about the budget, they immediately thought about the education department. Can we say teachers are still able to work full-time and not have their salaries reduced?

CHAMPENY: No, there are no reductions in salaries, there are no layoffs. The directives from the mayor had been very clear up for these two sort of rounds of savings programs, that there weren’t going to be layoffs and that they were really to focus on finding efficiencies and providing services in the cost-effective manners.

TRAN: As we know, the state budget has not been finalized yet and has been delayed? Would that affect our fiscal budget and fiscal year?

CHAMPENY 3: At this point, I think it's uncertain whether they will know what the state impact is, and that's unfortunate for budgeting, because they will then go into negotiations between the mayor and the city council with this unknown potential cost that they may need to reflect.

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