Bloomberg says state is 'starving' NYC of funds

May 6, 2010 3:16:04 PM PDT
By far, it is teachers hit the hardest in Mayor Bloomberg's budget. More than four thousand would be laid off. Another two thousand would be lost through attrition.

INTERACTION: How would you fix the budget?

Mayor Bloomberg placed the blame squarely on the governor and Albany lawmakers who just can't get their act together.

"And I will remind everybody who unfortunately may lose their jobs that it is because of Albany's fiscal irresponsibility for the last dozen years," Bloomberg said.

On top of teachers, the mayor says he will close 50 senior centers in the next few months; libraries get fewer books, four swimming pools will close and 20 fire engine companies will be eliminated.

We asked the fire commissioner does that make New Yorkers less safe?

"Well, it's going to affect our operations for sure, so it affects our operations and yes we will be less safe," Commissioner Sal Cassano said.

The budget means 400 fewer firefighters. Retirees won't be replaced.

With teachers, it means the loss of a lot of young, newly-hired teachers. The policy is last hired, first out.

"If we have to layoff teachers, I want to be clear about this. I think it's really unfortunate under the current rules to lay them off by seniority. I think we have better ways to do it," Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.

Even if Albany does ride to the rescue at the last minute, the mayor hinted it may be too late to reverse his deep cuts. "It's now at a time when we have to stand up for children of this city and state. They did not cause this problem and they should not be harmed because of it. The type of cuts you're talking about is harm inside the schools," UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

Surprisingly the governor's office blasted off this response, "The mayor's budget uses the state as a scapegoat to shirk responsibility for their own budget choices."

The mayor was visibly ticked.

"It's the most outrageous thing he could say. They are sending us less money. It's hard to argue with that. It's the governor's budget," Bloomberg said.

The state's budget is more than a month late.

Bloomberg's updated spending plan is for the city's next fiscal year that starts July 1.

He said the $62.9 billion budget assumes state aid will be cut by $1.3 billion.