Mayor Adams warns of ‘extremely painful’ spending cuts in NYC budget update dropping this week

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Mayor Adams warned Tuesday that the city budget update he’s set to release this week contains a laundry-list of “extremely painful” spending cuts that will impact impact millions of New Yorkers and hamper all municipal agencies, including the NYPD.

The mayor, who offered the dire warning during his weekly “off topic” press briefing, said he’s being forced to enact the deep cuts to offset hundreds of millions of dollars in cost incurred from sheltering and providing services for the tens of thousands of mostly Latin American migrants who have arrived in the city since last year.

“In all my time in government, this is probably one of the most painful exercises I’ve gone through,” Adams told reporters of his team’s work on the forthcoming spending reductions.

The budget modification plan, which the mayor must release every November to account for spending and revenue fluctuations, is set to be unveiled Thursday, according to administration officials. Jacques Jiha, Adams’ budget director, will brief Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and other Council leaders on the plan before its public release, officials said.

Adams first announced in September that the November plan would include 5% budget cuts for all city agencies. Unless the city receives a lot more federal and state migrant crisis aid, Adams warned in September that he will likely move to enact an additional 5% government-wide cut in January and yet another 5% in April — proposals that progressive Democrats have said would effectively wreck the city’s social safety net.

Though he didn’t go into extensive detail, Adams said the forthcoming 5% belt-tightening in the November plan will impact the city’s law enforcement apparatus.

“When we look at around police, what the numbers of our police officers are going to be, and how we’ve done so well with dropping crime in our city, when we look at the school safety agents, when we look at some of the other initiatives that we’re doing, it’s going to be extremely painful for New Yorkers,” he said of the cuts. “And that’s why we continue to say we need help.”

A spokesman for Adams declined to elaborate on how exactly the cuts will be felt at the NYPD, but reiterated that the November plan is coming out Thursday.

Adams’ reference to school safety agents comes after the Daily News first reported last month that his administration canceled a class of 250 incoming school safety agents amid continued budgetary concerns. The cancelation of the class came even as the number of school safety agents remains roughly 1,000 below pre-pandemic levels — a deficit municipal union leaders say could put students in danger.

Adams did not go into detail on how exactly the November plan cuts will impact the school safety agent ranks, either, though he did suggest “volunteerism” could fill some security staffing gaps.

“We have to do a real evaluation on where do we have the high-need schools, we’re going to be leaning into parents and parent groups to do some volunteerism,” he said.

First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright said the budgetary fallout from the November plan won’t be limited to public safety.

“Every single agency is going to feel the impact of these cuts, and New Yorkers are going to feel it, top to bottom,” she said.

According to the latest data from Adams’ office, more than 65,000 migrant remain housed in city shelters. The migrant crisis could cost the city as much as $12 billion by mid-2025, Adams’ budget team projects.