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State, City Tug Over Stimulus Details

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

New York City says it could lose $450 million in education aid if the Senate version of the stimulus bill prevails, but state officials are lobbying for the Senate bill. WNYC's Andrea Bernstein has more.

REPORTER: The issue isn't the amount of money; it's how it's distributed. Under both bills, New York state would get a total of $12.5 billion for education. But the House version of the bill sends more money to poor districts, so New York City would get about $900 million in operating aid, compared to $550 million city lobbyists say it would get under the Senate version.

A spokesman for Governor Paterson says the Senate version is better, because the state has more flexibility. That sets up a direct conflict in Washington between Governor Paterson, whose aides are lobbying for the Senate version, and Mayor Bloomberg, whose lobbyists are trying to get the final bill to reflect the House's priorities. For WNYC, I'm Andrea Bernstein.

HOST: Senate leaders are aiming to pass a bill this week. Then it goes to a House-Senate conference.

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