NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed to extend a grant program that will subsidize experienced school bus drivers' pay and benefits, Politico reports.
The $42 million grant program was created last year to restore benefits to school bus drivers, and 1,200 drivers and monitors benefited from the program, according to the news source. According to a notice published in the city record, the city will use $15 million in unused funds from the program, and additional city money if necessary, over the next year, Politico reports. The administration is also looking to the state Legislature to pass a law this session guaranteeing benefits to school bus drivers, according to the news source.
The program has caused controversy in the City Council and among budget experts, who argued last year that the city was setting a bad precedent by getting involved in what should have been a private collective bargaining agreement, Politico reports. However, only one council member voted against the program, referring to it as "questionable," according to the news source.
De Blasio administration officials said they are still considering other options for making the benefits permanent, according to Politico.
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