New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Staff to Take One-Week Furloughs -- Update
By Katie Honan
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that he
and his staff will take one-week furloughs, saving the city about
$1 million as it faces a budget crunch and considers laying off
22,000 government workers.
Mr. de Blasio said 495 mayoral staffers would have to take an
unpaid furlough between October and March. The furloughs, along
with cuts in the current fiscal year budget, have reduced the
mayor's office's budget by 12% compared with last year, the mayor
Further belt-tightening could be needed if state lawmakers don't
grant the city the power to borrow up to $5 billion or the federal
government doesn't provide additional financial relief in the wake
of the new coronavirus pandemic, the mayor said.
The New York state Legislature hasn't acted on the mayor's
borrowing request since he first asked in May. Republicans and
Democrats in Congress remain far apart on a new relief package
similar to one approved in the spring.
"Right now we don't have that support, and we have to keep
making tough choices to keep moving our city forward to keep our
budget balanced," Mr. de Blasio said at a press conference.
The city faces a $9 billion deficit over the next two years.
Revenue has been down significantly since the pandemic hit the city
The mayor has warned that he would have to lay off 22,000 city
employees if the city can't find new funding sources. The layoff
process was expected to begin at the end of August, but the mayor
temporarily delayed the process after unions representing
government workers asked for more time to push lawmakers on
The city began a phased reopening of its economy in June after
months of lockdown restrictions to stop the spread of the virus.
Even now, many businesses are acting at only limited capacity, and
most companies have been slow to have workers return to Manhattan
Budget cuts made at the end of June have led to reduced services
that have impacted quality of life. At the same time, crime has
surged in the city during the summer.
Write to Katie Honan at Katie.Honan@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 16, 2020 12:25 ET (16:25 GMT)
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