Our Budget Will Lead New York City to a Strong and Stable Economic Future
by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani
This week, I released the City's Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 1999, which builds on the success of the last five years to further secure the long-term economic future of New York. Even though a vibrant economy is producing the largest budget surplus ever, this budget maintains the same prudent fiscal philosophy we started with five years ago.
First, to keep the City fiscally secure, we'll continue to curb City spending, which over the last five years been held below the rate of inflation for the first time in the recorded history of the City. We're also adding more money to the Budget Stabilization Account that we established for the first time last year. And we'll go further by establishing the account for Fiscal Year 2000.
Second, we'll build on the creation of 216,600 private sector jobs by stimulating more job growth the best possible way: through targeted tax cuts. For Fiscal Year 1999, enacted and proposed tax cuts total $1.05 billion returned to New York City's families and businesses.
And finally, we'll support new programs designed to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers. For example, to comprehensively address the crisis of drug abuse, we are implementing five additional anti-drug law enforcement initiatives, expanding treatment programs and educating our children about the dangers of substance abuse.
To improve public education, we'll advance Project Read, Project Smart Schools, Second Opportunity Schools and the NYCHA Partners in Reading Program. Funding for Project Arts will double. We will provide the funding to end social promotions for third graders and establish night schools for high school students who don't graduate on time.
To reform higher education, the City University of New York must be held accountable. CUNY must require that in exchange for a publicly subsidized education, students meet certain basic attendance and achievement standards. That CUNY lacks such standards is unacceptable.
And to continue transforming New York City from the welfare capital of the world to the work capital of the world, we will move even more able-bodied New Yorkers to self-sufficiency. Every public assistance income support center will become into a job center, and all able-bodied public assistance recipients will be expected to work for the benefits they receive.
I look forward to working with all the people of the City to secure these important changes as we continue to build a New York City in which more and more people have the opportunity to realize their full potential.