The City Council approved an early $85.2 billion budget for its 2018 fiscal year Tuesday, the last under term-limited Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
The council added funding for summer jobs and a property tax exemption for veterans to Mayor Bill de Blasio's fiscal agenda but for the most part avoided the elaborate "budget dance" that involved the proposed removal and subsequent restoration of certain expenditures, a practice Blasio vowed to end. It was the earliest budget the council has delivered in 20 years, according to City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, D-Bronx.
But while the mayor and speaker declined a dance, they stepped into the ring on the issue of legal help for immigrants. The council added a provision ensuring universal representation regardless of criminal history; the mayor wants certain immigrants blocked from services.