Mayor, Council Deliver "On-Time, Balanced Budget"

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Fire companies and after-school programs saved in 2013 budget Yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council passed a $68.5 billion budget for 2013, which will help to save some children's programs and 20 fire companies, the Huffington Post reports. "Working with our partners in the Council, we've again produced an on-time, balanced budget for our city that doesn't raise taxes on New Yorkers, and that preservers the essential services that keep our city strong," Mayor Bloomberg said regarding the budget. "These actions? have allowed us avoid the severe service cuts that many other cities are facing." According to Bloomberg's press release, the budget increase will allow the city to add about 1,000 teachers to the school system and will add about $150 million to after-school programs. Public Advocate for New York City Bill De Blasio agrees. "We are immensely relieved that working families will not face the worst cuts to child care and after school programs in memory. This is a hard-earned victory for the thousands of parents and advocates who stared down the Mayor's attempt to dismantle the system so many kids rely upon," De Blasio said. The Huffington Post says saving the fire companies will cost roughly $59 million. In his address, Bloomberg did not identify what exactly was cut to make room for the spared programs. Other topics addressed in the budget were cultural institutions and taxi medallions. Funding for cultural institutions will be increase by roughly $50 million, slightly more than in 2012, with the city citing the institutions' effect on tourism as a large reason. The city also expects to see $635 million in taxi medallion revenue in 2013. "We face a significant challenge again next year, but given the effective and fiscally responsible partnership we've had with the Council ? and the leadership we know we can rely on from Speaker Christine Quinn ? I'm confident we'll meet any challenges that arise," Mayor Bloomberg added. --Nick Gallinelli

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