Queens Facing $167 M Cut In Fed Aid Under Republican Plan
Under the proposal, Weiner said, Queens would lose millions of dollars in funding for cops, education, transportation, infrastructure and health and human services.
Speaking at Queens College in Flushing on February 13, Weiner added, the GOP spending plan would also slash $57 million in Pell Grants for low income college students in the borough and more than $20 million in vital funding earmarked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
The Pell Grant cut would eliminate a vital lifeline for the more than 168,000 college students in the borough.
At the Queens College event, Weiner was joined by the school’s Student Association President Gabriella Berrezueta.
The proposed $20 million cut from the MTA would eliminate essential rail and bus infrastructure and security projects in Queens, Weiner explained.
The GOP cut would come at a time when the agency is already facing widespread deficits and service reductions for Queens residents, the lawmaker added.
If the Republican plan passes, which is a strong possibility considering their comfortable majority in the House, many senior citizen nutrition programs that help them to stay healthy by supplying funding to the many senior centers in the borough, would see a decrease of $200,000 in funding, Weiner said.
The GOP’s proposed cuts would also reduce funding for air-traffic control systems and other safety programs at Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports. This comes at a time when the national threat level has never been higher.
Also facing a $47 million cut is the Public Housing and Capital Operating Fund, placing further burdens upon Pomonok Houses in Flushing, one of the largest public housing units in the borough.
“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 pointed out.
A study by Weiner’s office staff found where the greatest impacts would affect Queens. Area precincts of the NYPD are in line for a $12 million cut, or 40 percent less than last year’s appropriation, Weiner said. Overall it could mean a reduction of about 42 police officers from patrol forces.
Another vital service that will be hurt if the Republican budget is approved, is the Child Care and Development Fund, which provides subsidies for child care for low income families with working mothers. This program faces a $2.5 million reduction, Weiner said.