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City Council Almost Unanimously Passes Budget

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By a 48-1 vote, the City Council Tuesday passed a $63 billion municipal budget.

The current fiscal plan includes no tax increases, no fire engine company closings and a reduction in library hours to five days a week. It also calls for at least 2,000 layoffs of municipal workers and the closing of up to 30 senior centers.

The 20 fire companies that were on the chopping lock were saved.

Council members say the cuts are needed to prepare the city for next year, when budget problems are expected to be even worse.

"This is a responsible, recession-based budget," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

"Could we possibly have done more? Yes. Could we have done worse than we've done? Absolutely yes," said City Councilman Robert Jackson.

The 2011 spending plan utilizes more than $3 billion in surplus to help fill in budget gaps.

Only Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barron voted against the plan.

He says the Council should have fought harder to save city services.

Bronx Councilman Larry Seabrook and Queen Councilman Thomas White were absent.

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