De Blasio Proposes $84 Billion Budget as Possible Federal Cuts Loom

The level of spending in the proposed budget is most likely a low estimate for how much the city will ultimately spend on its operations over the next fiscal year. For example, at this time last year, Mr. de Blasio proposed an $82.2 billion executive budget for the 2017 fiscal year; the city now estimates that it will spend $85.5 billion by the end of the fiscal year.

The mayor took some precautions for the future: The plan for the 2018 fiscal year calls for preserving $1 billion in reserves from previous budgets; efforts to find savings through measures like reducing overtime and using office space more efficiently; and a hiring freeze on some administrative positions (with no estimate of how much a freeze would save).

Yet for the most part, the budget largely did not incorporate major shifts anticipating what could be substantial cuts in federal aid in the coming months or years. Mr. de Blasio said that because the Trump administration was erratic and unpredictable, and had so far been frustrated in achieving some of its most prominent goals, there was no point in guessing at the outcome.

“A White House plan or strategy doesn’t change our strategy and our approach,” Mr. de Blasio said. “We’re going to stay true to our strategic vision. We’ll deal with whatever comes out of Washington, but we’re not going to wait.”

He added: “We could be facing very severe cuts; we could be facing very limited cuts. We came to a strategic assumption, and we think it’s the right one, that if you have no idea where something is going, and no one else does, it’s dangerous to start making decisions based on that reality.”

Mr. de Blasio said that the city re-evaluates its budget every few months and thus can quickly respond if funding cuts materialize.

The mayor presented his budget in the Blue Room of City Hall, as City Council members in a chamber upstairs wrapped up a hearing on a package of new bills aimed at bolstering New York’s protections for immigrants, in direct opposition to the Trump administration’s policies.

Mr. de Blasio, for his part, included $16 million in his budget proposal to provide legal services to immigrants in detention and to asylum seekers.

“I wish we did not have to include this in our budget, but we have to, because of the policies emanating from Washington,” Mr. de Blasio said.

If adopted by the Council this spring, the budget, for the fiscal year that begins July 1, would be more than $12 billion above the level of spending when Mr. de Blasio took office. The last budget of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration called for $72.7 billion in spending.

The city would also increase its 10-year capital spending plan to $95.9 billion, a rise of roughly $6…

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