New York, NY —
While Governor Paterson calls them "spending reductions," unions and community groups say the budget cutting plan he outlined yesterday will hurt the working class and the poor. Speaking on the steps of City Hall yesterday, teachers union chief Randi Weingarten said slowing the growth in education spending - from nine percent to five percent - would mean kids would have to go without vital programs.
WEINGARTEN: Again, summer school programs are being cut, all class trips are being cut, the programs after school are being cut. How do we help kids who are falling behind? How do we help kids compete?
REPORTER: Weingarten and others want lawmakers to increase taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers. But Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg say that would drive people out of state.
Both sides say they hope a federal stimulus package promised by President-elect Barack Obama will soften the blow of the economic slowdown and reduce the need for budget cuts.