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Cuts Across the Board in Bloomberg's Budget Plan

Friday, May 07, 2010

In his new budget for the coming fiscal year, Mayor Bloomberg is proposing major cuts across-the-board: lay-offs for thousands of teachers, closures for dozens of senior centers and firehouses, reduced hours for libraries and more. WNYC's Bob Hennelly has this report.

REPORTER: Mayor Bloomberg laid out his close to $63 billion budget with his usual optimism about the City's prospects. But with a nod to yesterday's stock market tumble, he expressed concern about the global economy.

BLOOMBERG: There is some great serious financial clouds on the horizon. Anybody that reads the paper about Athens and doesn't understand the connection between Athens and us isn't being realistic.

REPORTER: The Mayor criticized a proposal in Albany to cut over a billion dollars in state aid for the city. He took to task state legislators who want to lower property taxes in upstate counties, while the state sinks deeper into debt. He says that any Federal money spent for local schools must bypass Albany.

BLOOMBERG: Give the money to the cities where the public needs, because the politics and representation in most states is such that they spread the money around, and it is not concentrated where the great pedagogical problems are, and that is in the inner cities of this country.

REPORTER: A bill pending in Congress would direct $25 billion to avert up to 300,000 teacher layoffs nation-wide. But to help the 4,400 teachers in the City facing pink slips, Congress would have to move with uncharacteristic lightening speed. For WNYC i am Bob Hennelly.

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