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City Council approves $66 Billion budget

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council Photo Credit: Office of the Mayor

The threat of thousands of teacher layoffs and nearly two dozen firehouse closings across the Big Apple have been averted under a fiscal year 2012 budget approved Wednesday by the City Council.

In a 49-1 vote, council members adopted the $66 billion budget plan, which avoids some of the more controversial cuts proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, although leaves others intact.

“This is not a budget that comes without any level of pain,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn, adding “it would be impossible to have a perfect budget when the city and our tax revenues are still feeling the effects of the recession.”

Councilman Charles Barron (D-East New York), the lone “no” vote, called the budget “immoral” because he said it negatively impacts minority and working-class New Yorkers.

While it staves off about 4,100 teacher layoffs and prevents the closing of 20 firehouses and dozens of senior centers, the budget still allows for the loss of 1,000 non-uniformed city employees and a reduction in library hours.

About 2,600 teaching positions will still go unfilled through attrition.

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