Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cuomo's Budget chilly toward NYC - Bloomberg responds

by Carlos González

NEW YORK CITY - Though New York is at a crossroads and an urgent need for fiscal discipline is in order, decades of Albany overspending and overtaxing is exactly what brought us to the brink of financial disaster.

That's why today all eyes were on Governor Andrew Cuomo as he released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2011-2012.

According to the proposed budget, NYC is facing a whopping $2 billion cut, to include $1.4 billion worth of educational aid.

Not surprisingly, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not too happy with the cuts facing the city stating that the proposed budget will have "a major impact on our schools, our health-care system and our social services.

"The residents of our five counties pay a disproportionate amount of State taxes," said Bloomberg. "They deserve the same level of support."

Bloomberg expressed disappointment that Cuomo's budget lacked any inclusion of mandate relief.

"We can't only look at one side of the equation," the mayor said. "We need relief from unfunded State mandates, as well as changes in State law that would allow us to save money, particularly where we can find ways to save money that would not cost the State a dime.

"Without those changes, we will be looking at thousands of layoffs in our schools and across City agencies," continued Bloomberg. "And because of the last-in, first-out law, we would be forced to layoff teachers based solely on how many years they've logged on the job, not the quality of the job they're doing."

Bloomberg also states that the budget in general does not treat New York City equitably, especially when it eliminates 100 percent of New York City's revenue sharing aid - over $300 million - while cutting other localities by just 2 percent.

The mayor's criticism is the first legitimate swipe at the new governor since Cuomo took office, despite endorsing him in last November's election.

The governor has twenty-one days to amend his plan before it is settled by the Assembly and the Senate.
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