Governor's Budget Would Mean a Bloodbath for NYC: Bloomy

Would force the layoff of 20,000 city employees

By Melissa Russo
|  Monday, Jan 25, 2010  |  Updated 4:38 PM EDT
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Governor's Budget Would Mean a Bloodbath for NYC: Bloomy

AP

Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks before a joint legislative hearing on the proposed executive budget in Albany on Monday.

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg says David Paterson's proposed budget would be balanced by a bloodbath in New York City.

The Mayor predicted it would force him to lay off 8,500 teachers and 10,000 other city employees, including more than 3,000 police officers and 1,000 firefighters.

City jails would lose 900 correction officers, leaving the current inmate population unmanageable and city streets would lose 50 percent of the trash-can pickups that keep them clean.

At a joint hearing in Albany this morning, Bloomberg testified that Paterson's plan is wildly disproportionate, forcing the five boroughs to absorb 94 percent of revenue cuts to counties and shifting hundreds of millions of dollars in state costs to the city.

"Want to guess how that's going to sit with taxpayers?" Bloomberg asked. "Let me tell you the voters of New York City aren't going to take it."

Bloomberg also took a swipe at the Metrocard promise he says Governor Paterson broke to NYC schoolchildren: 

"We're disappointed that full funding for student Metrocards has not been restored in the executive budget, as the Governor promised it would," he said. "Do you really think it's fair for our kids to suffer while other State agencies are protected?"

Governor Paterson has defended his plan against the Mayor's criticism, calling this "a budget of necessity," and suggesting that Bloomberg too, will have to make unpopular cuts.

Bloomberg is expected to unveil his preliminary NYC budget plan, known as "the January plan" on Thursday. One interesting question will be whether he factors in these proposed state cuts to his presentation and issues a doomsday budget plan --  or instead, presents a "best case scenario" in the hopes that a compromise in Albany will provide relief.

In theory, the state's budget should be negotiated and passed by the April 1 deadline, leaving city officials enough time to adjust the city's budget by July 1. But Bloomberg may add some more belt-tightening steps now in preparation for a virtual famine in funding from Albany.

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