Cuomo’s Budget Proposal Would Slash at Least $700 Million from New York City


andrew-cuomoNew York City is facing at least a $700 million hit as a result of Gov. Cuomo’s new slash-and-burn budget proposal unveiled this morning. Some city officials say the cut could be much worse.

The largest bite is a $579.7 million cut to city schools.

Team Cuomo argues the Big Apple will actually do much better than the city says when a state takeover of local Medicaid costs is factored in.

Because of that, Cuomo claims the city stands to benefit overall from his budget to the tune of $918.4 million.

Bloomberg in the past has argued it was disingenuous to include the Medicaid takeover savings when assessing the impact since the city never budgeted for that money.

Cuomo also did not call for the restoration of hundreds of millions of dollars in municipal aid to the city that was cut in recent years.

He’s also seeking to eliminate the $35 million state share of funding for a city program for public assistance households at risk of eviction or already residing in homeless shelters.

And he’d reduce reimbursement for the city adult homeless shelters by $16 million.

Cuomo is seeking to close a massive $10 billion budget gap without new borrowing or raising taxes.

Overall Cuomo’s budget includes:

* A total payout of $132.9 billion, which represents a 2.7%, or $3.7 billion reduction from the current year. It’s the first time since 1996-97 when George Pataki was governor that total spending would decline.

* Requires a commission reviewing the $50 billion Medicaid program to find $2.85 billion in savings in addition to a $982 million decrease in Medicaid spending. He would also create a new formula to limit Medicaid growth in the future.

* Reduces state education aid by $1.5 billion while at the same time setting aside two $250 million pools for which districts that find efficiencies or show student performance improvement can compete.

* Calls for a 10% cut to state agencies and allows a “last resort” of nearly 10,000 public worker reductions if the unions don’t agree to concessions.

The budget also would cut CUNY by $70.1 million and its community colleges by 10%.

“New York is at a crossroads, and we must seize this opportunity, make hard choices, and set our state on a new path toward prosperity.”

“This budget achieves real, year-to-year savings while restructuring the way we manage our state government. This is the first step toward building a new New York.”

The plan calls a downsizing of the prison, juvenile justice and mental health systems as well as the merging of a number of state agencies.

To make prison closure more palatable, particularly to Senate Republicans, Cuomo sets aside $100 million for redevelopment programs for communities that lose those facilities.

He also followed through on his announcement Monday to eliminate a host of formulas and laws that drive up costs annually.

The result would be an 86% drop in the projected deficits over the next four years. Rather than $64.6 billion in deficits, the state would face just $9.2 billion, he said.

All told, there would be relatively low $455.5 million in revenue raisers, nearly half of that from additional lottery opportunities.

The News reported Monday that Cuomo would remove restrictions on the Keno-like Quick Draw game that would allow for a major expansion in New York City.

The unveiling of the governor’s dire plan is expected to spark a bloody budget battle with the Legislature and special interests.

Lawmakers, most of whom were not briefed on the budget plan in advance, were beginning to digest the numbers Tuesday morning.

Senate Republican Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous said while his conference is “philosophically” in agreement with Cuomo, it will have to study the specifics of his proposal.

He warned, though, of major cuts.

“Those legislators, whether they be Republican or Democrat, who have had a previous appetite for spending or increasing the budget, get over it because it’s not happening,” Libous (R-Binghamton) said.

{NY Daily News/ Newscenter}