New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the Big Apple could be forced to lay off more than 20,000 city employees because of coronavirus-related budget losses.
During a press conference Wednesday, de Blasio said the city faces a loss of revenue of $ 9 billion, with the possibility that the losses could end up being much higher.
The city council has found budget cuts of $ 2 billion, but needs to identify another $ 1 billion, the mayor said.
“Here’s a way to think about it, for every one hundred million dollars in the city’s budget, that’s about 2,200 city employees, on average,” de Blasio said. “Closing a $ 1 billion gap would mean laying off 22,000 city employees, which is a staggering number.”
The city employs about 330,000 municipal workers.
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De Blasio said the city is “ready” to initiate this type of plan if necessary, although it hopes to find alternatives from lawmakers in Albany or Washington, DC, adding that permits would be a last resort.
“It is going to take a while for our economy to return. It will take a long time for our revenue recovery, ”de Blasio explained. “So that’s the forceful reality of today.”
The city is working to obtain an approved budget by June 30. Any layoff plan would not take place until the fall.
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Advocates of criminal justice reform have proposed taking $ 1 billion from the NYPD, with the intention of passing those funds elsewhere and not eliminating them entirely.
The mayor indicated that the city is not optimistic about receiving additional stimuli from the federal government before the end of July.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has repeatedly called on the federal government to issue more aid money to the states that have been hit hardest by the virus outbreak.