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Bloomberg 'outraged' over Cuomo budget

March 29, 2011 4:20:55 AM PDT
Mayor Michael Bloomberg might have appeared he was in a good mood today, but he is not happy with the governor's budget hammered out Sunday afternoon in Albany.

"I think proportionally the cuts that are inflicted on New York City are an outrage," Mayor Bloomberg said.

The mayor went on saying last minute extra cash from Albany was still not enough, and so up to almost 5-thousand teacher still face the possibility of layoff notices in June.

"I'm hoping that this spirit of love and euphoria that I feel is infectious and grows continues. Do you feel it Dean? Do you feel it Shelley?" Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday.

The governor was all smiles at the announcement, but a day later his press office slammed the mayor, claiming, "The City Department of Education has a surplus of over $300 million."

That begs the question are layoffs really necessary?

"So if the mayor is saying he needs to do layoffs, he is saying I am choosing to do layoffs when he does not have to," UTF Presidetn Michael Mulgrew said.

Yet the mayor is preparing for even more cutbacks.

He has said reports of an education surplus are untrue.

He also refused to spend every dime on this year's budget.

"Keep in mind our whole objective here is not to go into the following year on the brink of bankruptcy. We have to have some money put aside for emergencies," Bloomberg said.

The tentative $132.5 billion plan would reduce state spending by more than 2 percent and would address a $10 billion deficit.

Cuomo's first budget has no tax increases or substantial borrowing and rejects the Assembly's proposal for a "millionaire's tax" to ease cuts.

The plan stands a chance to be finalized by legislators this week, in time for the Friday deadline, when the state fiscal year begins. New York lawmakers routinely miss the budget deadline. The last early budget was in 1983, when Mario Cuomo was in his first term.

"This budget agreement marks a dramatic reversal in the tax-and-spend habits of Albany that drove this state to the brink of fiscal disaster," said Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for New York City. "They have sent a clear message to employers that New York is open for business."

The public view of the on-time budget that cuts spending - each rare for Albany - may make the popular governor even more so.

Legislative leaders who sought and received few concessions, praised the process they called collaborative.

"New York state is now functioning well, in a bipartisan way," said enate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Nassau County Republican who with the Democratic governor killed the Assembly's "millionaire's tax" for the year.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, called the budget "grounded in reality ... a fiscally responsible budget that protects the most vulnerable among us."

"This is a sober budget, unquestionably," Silver said. "Government had to tighten its belt."

Cuomo called in a "new era" of accord between the executive and Legislature.


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