FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2010
STATEMENT OF MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ON FMAP EXTENSION VOTE IN U.S. SENATE
“Today’s vote in the Senate is a major step towards extending the Federal Medicaid cost relief that was initially provided in the stimulus package – known as FMAP – and increasing Federal support for education. The Senate and House each previously passed bills including an extension of the FMAP program and cities and states around the country, including New York City, factored the assistance into their budget plans. A strong majority of the Senate today rightly decided to put partisan and electoral politics aside to ensure cities and states receive this funding, preventing possible layoffs and harmful budget cuts.
“Early this summer, State leaders joined me to convene a meeting at Gracie Mansion with members of our congressional delegation to stress the importance of these dollars and the serious implications that would result if the funding did not come through. United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew joined me in Washington this summer to tell our Congressional leaders that increased Federal support is essential to continuing the progress we have made in our schools. Today’s vote demonstrates our message was heard.
“The legislation provides New York City with approximately $400 million in FMAP budget relief and approximately $200 million in new aid for education, which is equal to the total funding assumed in the City’s budget based on the original FMAP extension legislation.
“While this is a significant measure of relief, even with these dollars we still face a projected $3.3 billion deficit for next year and we are going to have to make more hard choices to keep the City’s budget balanced. We passed an on-time, balanced budget for this year only a few short weeks ago, but we already have begun working towards closing next year’s budget gap.
“I would like to thank Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for recognizing the importance of this piece of legislation and for his determination in bringing it to the floor for debate and votes. I would like to particularly thank New York’s Senators Chuck Schumer, who co-sponsored this bill, and Kirsten Gillibrand who understood the importance of these dollars to our City and State. I also want to thank Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine; they deserve real credit for looking beyond partisan politics and seeing the potential consequences of inaction. The City’s delegation in the House has been fighting hard to restore this funding and I hope this legislation will pass the House of Representatives as soon as possible.”
Stu Loeser / Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958