FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES HOW THE STATE BUDGET WILL AFFECT NEW YORK CITY IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, April 3, 2011
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“Last week, the New York State Legislature passed a new budget. The Governor and the Legislature deserve credit for coming together and reaching an agreement that closes the State’s large deficit. Unfortunately, the budget they passed unfairly singles out New York City and makes it impossible for us to prevent more layoffs and cuts in services.
“Let me be clear: we understand and appreciate the challenge that Albany faced. And we said from the beginning that New York City was willing to absorb our fair share of cuts provided two things happen. Number One: that any reductions in funding are proportional across the state. And Number Two: that the State relieves us of some of the growing, mandated costs that made it tough for us to balance our own budget this year, and will be even tougher to pay for in the years to come.
“Unfortunately, the State budget fails on both counts.
“For one, the treatment we got from Albany was anything but fair and proportional. Every year we send the State billions more in tax dollars than we get back in services. Many other localities actually send less than they get back. And the new State budget makes this imbalance even worse: Every other town and city will continue to receive what are called “revenue-sharing” funds – which is unrestricted State aid that can be used for any local government purpose. Here in New York City, on the other hand, the $300 million in revenue-sharing funds that had been in the State budget was cut by 100 percent.
“We would be better positioned to weather these cuts if Albany had acted on our second principle: mandate relief. The State imposes many unnecessary and burdensome costs on us and other localities. Reforming them would make government more efficient and generate substantial savings – but we can only do that with Albany’s help.
“So make no mistake: Because of the new State budget, we will be forced to enact cuts. It’s unavoidable. Our schools, in particular, are going to get hit especially hard. The State slashed our education aid more than ever before. We’re adding $2.2 billion in City funds to our education budget to make up for losses in State and Federal funding – but it won’t be enough to avoid teacher layoffs.
“To make matters worse, the current law requires us to conduct layoffs – if and when they happen – according to longevity, rather than merit. That’s not fair to our students, and it would wreak havoc on our schools. So even though the State budget has dealt us a bad hand, we’re going to continue working hard on reform with one goal in mind: Making sure New York City children have the best teachers possible.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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