From the Daily News:
Despite the city's worst budget crisis in 34 years, City Council members are larding themselves with $48.7 million in pork-barrel spending for the next 12 months.
The Council's discretionary funding has been the stuff of scandal and ongoing criminal investigations for more than a year.
The new discretionary spending allocations will be approved today as part of the city's $59.4 billion overall budget.
It will raise the city's sales tax rate by 0.5%, costing shoppers an extra $518 million a year.
The budget also calls for laying off some 2,000 city workers to help cope with a $5 billion slide in city revenues caused by the Wall Street tumble and recession.
Nevertheless, there's been no reduction in the pork-barrel allocation for the Council.
In a public disclosure on Thursday fraught with missteps, Council aides said the new pork pie is to be spent as follows:
- $17.7 million dispensed by the individual 51 Council members, with some members getting to dole out bigger slices because they chair major committees or hold leadership posts;
- $17.9 million dispensed through Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan);
- $7.7 million equally divided among the 51 members to give to youth-service groups;
- Another $5.5 million to be disbursed by the members to senior citizen groups.
They're even giving it to groups that were banned!