Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer today released the following statement on New York City’s Fiscal Year 2017 Adopted Budget:
“I’m extremely proud of the budget the City Council adopted today. This budget includes record investments in arts, culture, and libraries, and provides much-needed capital and organizational funding throughout the 26th district. This budget is an $82 billion investment in creating a more vibrant, inclusive, and prosperous city.
I’m happy to have helped lead the fight for record increases in operating funds to the Department of Cultural Affairs and arts and cultural organizations citywide. This is the first increase in funding to the Department of Cultural Affairs in over a decade. With the $10 million we successfully pushed for, and record increases in our own cultural initiatives—including CASA, the Cultural Immigrant Initiative, and SU-CASA—this budget allocates nearly $20 million more in new expense funding for arts and culture. This budget also allocates $129 million in cultural capital funding so our world-class cultural gems can invest in needed upgrades to allow them to attract visitors for years to come.
In addition, I’m thrilled that this budget restores and baselines $343 million for our City’s public libraries, making six day service permanent citywide. This is the first time we’ve had baselined six day service in over a decade. Gone is the budget dance that clouded our libraries’ futures each year. In addition, we will invest nearly $84 million capital funding, so libraries can invest in much-needed upgrades.
On top of these citywide victories, I’m particularly proud of some of the investments we’re able to make in the 26th Council District. With the help of the Speaker, this budget invests $3 million to fund books, furniture, and materials for the new Hunters Point Library, $3 million so the city can acquire and renovate the former Phipps playground and create a beautiful public park in Sunnyside, $1 million for capital improvements at MoMA PS1, $2 million for LaGuardia Community College and $2.6 million for our district’s public schools, so we can invest in our young people’s future.
This is truly a budget we can believe in. I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and all of my Council Colleagues for their hard work on this budget and continued commitment to making New York a better place.”