Bloomberg, City Council agree on $68.5B budget deal

THE BRONX - Officials say Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council have reached an agreement on next year's city budget.

The $68.5-billion budget includes a combination of resources from previous years and revenues from an improving economy to help avoid raising taxes and laying off workers, according to officials. The budget also includes more funding for child care programs that had been under the threat of cuts.

Under the revised budget, child care and out-of-school programs would get an extra $75 million for the 2013 year than the level they are currently at. In his proposed budget, Bloomberg proposed cutting about half of the 52,000 slots in the city-sponsored after-school programs that served low-income neighborhoods. About one-third of the 42,000 child care slots for children in low-income working families were also on the chopping block.

Officials reached the budget deal, which covers the fiscal year that starts July 1, just days before the deadline. The City Council is expected to vote on the budget deal this week.

AP wire services were used in this report.

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