COMPLETE VIDEO: 180th CityLaw Breakfast with Jacques Jiha, Director of the NYC Office of Management and Budget

OMB Director Jacques Jiha speaks with NYLS Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell and Professor Ross Sandler at the 180th CityLaw Breakfast. Image Credit: New York Law School

Today, June 29, 2022, Office of Management and Budget Director Jacques Jiha spoke at the 180th CityLaw Breakfast. His talk focused on the City’s economic recovery and the shaping of the City’s budget in response to the pandemic. Professor Ross Sandler, Director of the Center for New York City Law provided opening remarks. Dean and President of New York Law School Anthony W. Crowell held a closing discussion with Director Jiha and Professor Sandler. This Breakfast was sponsored by ConEdison, Greenberg Traurig, and Verizon. This was the fourteenth virtual CityLaw Breakfast as in-person events are not feasible at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Director Jiha began his talk with a discussion about the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the City’s economic growth and recovery. New waves with omicron have slowed down the return to office plans for many New Yorkers, which hinders the recovery of businesses in business districts, especially in Manhattan. 

According to Director Jiha, the budget needed to be shaped by the City’s needs in its economic recovery and Mayor Adams’ campaign promises. The City took multiple approaches in trying to save money, including requiring agencies to cut back on spending which resulted in over $2 billion in savings, and policies like hiring one new person for every two people that leave. That policy allowed agencies to continue to hire without needing layoffs. Investments in NYCHA subsidies, tax credits for families, summer work programs for young people, and fair fares programs are ways the City has tried to boost the economic recovery. 

Jiha also discussed several challenges the City is continuing to face in its economic recovery. The delay in returning to office and shift to hybrid work has a major impact on local businesses and the commercial real estate market, which can eventually adjust but will need to adapt for the current moment. According to Jiha, New York used to be a manufacturing economy, but we shifted away from that and needed to adjust. If investors see that people won’t be coming back to the office at rates pre-pandemic, they will also adjust. There may be things like zoning changes needed but Jiha believes the City will find its way. 

Overall, he believes the City is resilient – no layoffs or reduction of service were needed and the City was able to meet all of its financial obligations throughout the pandemic. However, he still calls for ongoing fiscal responsibility, as we are “not out of the woods yet.” 

To watch the breakfast, click here or watch below.




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