Team Cuomo says state funding to the city will drop by $659.4 million, including a $579.7 million hit to the school system.
A fuming mayor insists the new governor’s cuts are far worse – and include a walkback of $2 billion in promised state cash, $1.4 billion of it for schools.
Hizzoner also groused that Cuomo failed to provide any relief for burdensome, unfunded mandates.
“Without those changes [mandate relief], we will be looking at thousands of layoffs in our schools and across city agencies,” Bloomberg said.
Cuomo’s budget proposal, unveiled yesterday, seeks to reduce overall state spending from this fiscal year’s budget by $3.7 billion, or 2.7% – the first decline in nearly 15 years.
Bloomberg accused Cuomo of whacking the city the hardest to rein in spending and close a $10 billion budget gap.
“The budget does not treat New York City equitably. It eliminates 100% of New York City’s revenue-sharing aid – more than $300 million – while cutting other localities by just 2%,” Bloomberg said.
“The residents of our five counties pay a disproportionate amount of state taxes, and they deserve the same level of support,” he added.
Cuomo’s budget director, Robert Megna, hit back at Hizzoner – hard.
“New York City will get $579million less in education aid than it did in last year’s budget. It is also worth noting thatMayor Bloomberg has at least $2billion in reserves which could be used to offset the loss ofthis education funding,” Megna said of a money pot the city denies.
And he accused Bloomberg of fuzzy math in crowing about the cuts to revenue-sharing aid.
“An analogy is helpful to understand this point: If I was paid$50,000 last year and I getpaid $50,000 this year, my salary remains flat,” Megna said. “And I would not characterize it as a cutof $10,000 even if I hadhoped I would be making $60,000 this year.”
Cuomo presented his budget in a 43-minute address to lawmakers. He declared the state “functionally bankrupt” and in need of “restructuring.”
“New York is at a crossroads and we’re laying out today what I believe is a road to recovery for the state,” Cuomo said.
The new governor predicted his proposals would have the special interests running around the Capitol’s hallways “like their hair is on fire.”
He implored lawmakers to clean up their reputations by passing the budget and an ethics reform package.
Schools, Medicaid targeted
Cuomo’s budget package includes a nearly $2.85 billion cut to Medicaid, a $1.5 billion state school aid reduction, a 10% cut to state agencies – and the layoffs of up to 9,800 state workers.
The plan calls for a downsizing of the prison, juvenile justice and mental health systems as well as the merging of a number of state agencies.
And, in a direct shot at the lawmakers, Cuomo removed language from the budget that authorize pork-barrel spending projects.
The governor’s dire plan is expected to spark a bloody budget battle with the Legislature and special interests.
“As the governor said, this isabout people and how this budget affects people,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said.
“There are children in the schools, there are senior citizens, there are people in our hospitals, and I think what we need is an evaluation of this proposal.”
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