Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rep Weiner Study Highlights Impact of Republican Budget Plan on Queens

$167 Million in Aid to the Borough on the Chopping Block, Including $57 Million in Pell Grants for Queens Students and $20 Million in MTA Funding

Plan Goes to House Floor This Week

Today, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D – Queens and Brooklyn) released a study highlighting the impact on Queens of the new Republican budget proposal that will be voted on this week, which would slash over $167 million in aid to the borough, including $57 million in Pell Grants for area students and over $20 million in vital funding to the MTA.

Under the Republican budget plan, Queens would lose millions of dollars in funding for cops, education, transportation, infrastructure, and health and human services. Pell Grants for low income Queens students, for instance, would be cut by $57 million, eliminating a vital lifeline for the over 168,000 college students in the borough.

The proposal also calls for eliminating $20 million in funding for essential rail and bus infrastructure and security MTA projects in Queens. With the MTA already facing a widespread deficit and reducing service to residents, including shutting down the Q74 bus line, the only direct mode of transportation for Queens College students to Kew Gardens Hills, these cuts would come to services already cut to the bone.

In addition, if the Republican plan passes, Queens’ senior nutrition programs, which help seniors stay healthy by providing meals and supplying vital funding to the many senior centers in Queens, would see a decrease in funding of $200,000. The plan would also cut funding to upgrading air traffic control systems and safety at JFK and LaGuardia airport, during a time when the national threat level has never been higher.

The Public Housing and Capital Operating Fund would similarly be cut by $47 million, placing further burden on the Pomonok Houses, one of the largest complexes in Queens, which is already struggling to obtain the capital funding it needs to stay safe and comfortable.

"The deficit needs to be reduced, but cutting Pell Grants for low income college students and reducing other vital services is not the way to do it," Weiner said.

A study by Rep. Weiner's office found the following cuts would impact Queens if the Republican budget proposal passes:


Pell Grants, which provide grants for lower income college students, would be cut by $57 million for area students. The maximum Pell Grant award would be cut by $845 per student. There are over 168,000 college students in Queens. (NYC Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Census

Law Enforcement

Federal grants to fund the Queens precincts of the New York Police Department would be cut by $12 million, a 40% cut from fiscal year 2010 levels. This could mean that more than 42 cops are taken off the streets of Queens. (NYC IBO)

MTA would lose over $20 million for funding vital rail and bus infrastructure and security projects throughout Queens. (Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA))

JFK and LaGuardia would see a cut of $16 million that would be used to improve our air traffic control system. (United States Department of Transportation((DOT))


The Public Housing Capital and Operating Funds which provide funding for the development and modernization of public housing and public housing agencies, would be cut by $47 million. (NYC IBO)

Health & Human Services

The Child Care and Development Fund which provides subsidies for child care for low-income families so that Queens parents can work would be cut by $2.5 million. (NYC IBO)

Senior Nutrition Programs, which helps Queens seniors stay healthy by providing meals at senior centers and in the home, would be cut by over $200,000.(NYC IBO)


The Drinking Water Revolving Fund which works to ensure that local Queens residents receive clean and safe drinking water would be cut by $12.5 million for Queens. (NYC OMB)