The New York City Council is holding preliminary budget hearings to examine and provide feedback on the Mayor’s proposed budget. The Committee on Health and the Committee on Mental Health, Disability and Addictions held a joint hearing on Wednesday to examine the budget’s health-related funding and provisions. Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner (DOHMH) Dave Chokshi, MD, who will step down in a few days, testified on behalf of DOHMH. Ashwin Vasan, MD, who will take over for Dr. Chokshi, supplemented his testimony. The hearing highlighted DOHMH’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, reduce maternal health disparities, and increase investments in public health infrastructure such as the City’s Public Health Corps, mobile treatment teams, and more. Council Members also focused on mental health, calling for de-stigmatization and investments in the mental health care workforce. Numerous community-based organizations and not-for-profits also testified, primarily to request City funding.
The Committee on Hospitals will hold its preliminary budget hearing on March 21. The Council will formally respond to the Mayor’s preliminary budget in April. The Council and Mayor will then spend several months negotiating changes to the budget before adopting a final budget by July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year.