We are glad that we have been able to avoid another round of cuts in today’s budget. However, there is still much to be concerned about and we still face a number of problems ahead in the Fiscal 2012 budget, particularly state and federal budget cuts that will severely impact our city.
The Council has serious concerns about 4,200 teacher layoffs, losing nearly 17,000 unfunded childcare slots and the closure of twenty fire companies. At the state level, we are deeply troubled that state cuts would result in the closure of 100 senior centers, a full third of the city’s senior centers.
This Council is – as it has been for the past five years – fully committed to reaching a budget that is responsible, balanced and fair. As we continue to work towards balancing our strained budget, we will make every effort to protect many of these services that New Yorkers depend on. We will be working very hard together with Mayor Bloomberg to push Albany for a State budget that is fair and equitable to New York City, because the fact of the matter is our city budget depends on getting our fair share from the state.
I am pleased the Mayor altered his proposed capital cut from twenty to ten percent. However, I still believe the appropriate approach is to not cut capital at all, and will continue to advocate for this.
The Mayor’s budget proposals for FY 2012 will be fully examined and debated. Council budget hearings are scheduled to begin on March 10th.
Domenic M. Recchia Jr., Chair of the Council’s Finance Committee, stated:
The mayor’s proposal does the best it can with a bad situation. The problem is we’re being shortchanged, because the state is cutting our revenue sharing aid and the federal government is cutting stimulus funding. I’m very concerned with how deeply this budget cuts into education and the Administration for Children’s Services. Our job right now is to lobby the state and federal governments to get our fair share. We send billions in tax revenue to the state, and it’s unfair to be zeroed out from revenue sharing aid while every other municipality is only cut by two percent. Over the next few months I will work with the mayor, Speaker Quinn and my colleagues in the City Council to fight for equitable funding to deliver a responsible, balanced budget that continues to deliver core services for New Yorkers.