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Krueger, Kruger and Bloomberg
January 25th, 2010

Sen. Liz Krueger, vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee, represents a particularly vocal constituent. You may have heard of him–Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg was in Albany today testifying about the inequities he sees New York City suffering under Gov. David Paterson’s 2010-2011 budget plan.  Krueger’s office issued a press release this evening echoing Bloomberg’s complaints.

“I understand that we are facing an extremely difficult budget and there will be large cuts to many programs, but we must make sure that the pain is distributed equitably and appropriately,” said Senator Krueger in in a statement.  “In the Governor’s proposed 2010-11 executive budget, New York City shoulders a disproportionate amount of pain.”

Krueger said New York is being disproportionately hurt by the Paterson’s budget in two very specific ways.

The city is facing the complete elimination of the Aid to Municipalities (AIM ) its receives.  The city is scheduled to lose $301.7 million in scheduled funding. That amount accounts for 94 percent of the $320.2 million in AIM reductions statewide.  Krueger’s office says most other localities are facing cuts of about 2 to 6 percent while the city is facing a 100 percent loss of funding.

Paterson is also looking to restructure the state’s STAR program by restricting the New York City personal income tax STAR benefit. It is estimated the proposed restructuring would cost city residents $200 million in new taxes. Krueger’s office says that the STAR program was already designed “disproportionately” benefit land-owners outside of New York City and Paterson’s plan will make the situation worse.

Bloomberg had less support from Senate Finance Committee Chair Carl Kruger. During Bloomberg’s testimony Kruger said the city had opted out of  an application for millions of dollars in federal Race to the Top education aid. Bloomberg protested and the two had a bit of a back and forth. The Post has the play by play. Liz Benjamin has the video.

Sen. John DeFrancisco later gave Bloomberg a chance to air his grievance about the way the Senate handled the Race to the Top situation.

DeFrancisco prodded Bloomberg to explain just how outraged he was that neither house voted on a bill that would have increased the state’s charter school cap and thereby possibly made the state eligible for federal funds. Bloomberg did his best to take the high road. DeFrancisco asked Bloomberg if he was shocked or disgusted by the Senate’s handling of the vote.

Bloomberg then recounted the 2008 situation that saw his congestion pricing plan die when the Assembly refused to bring it to a vote. “If you can do that, you can do anything,” Bloomberg said in outright disgust.

Here is the full release from Krueger’s office:

Senator Krueger Calls for Equity in State Budget Cut
(Albany, New York)—As the legislature began budget hearings today, State Senator Liz Krueger (Vice-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee) called on the legislature to ensure that the final state budget is balanced fairly and equitably with regards to local governments.

“I understand that we are facing an extremely difficult budget and there will be large cuts to many programs, but we must make sure that the pain is distributed equitably and appropriately,” said Senator Krueger.  “In the Governor’s proposed 2010-11 executive budget, New York City shoulders a disproportionate amount of pain.”

Disproportionate cuts to New York City’s budget include:

* Complete elimination of Aid to Municipalities (AIM )funding for New York City.  The $301.7 million cut the city is facing accounts for 94 percent of the $320.2 million in AIM reductions statewide.  All other counties localities are only facing an average 2-5% cut in comparison to the City’s 100%.
* Restructuring the STAR program by limiting the NYC Personal Income Tax STAR Benefit.  This will cost New York City residents an estimated $200 million in new taxes.  STAR has always disproportionately benefitted land-owners outside of New York City, and that fact will only be exacerbated by the limiting of the NYC Personal Income Tax STAR Benefit.

“Just because New York City is the largest locality does not mean that it needs proportionally less support from the state,” said Senator Krueger.  “In fact, for many programs New York City needs more funding precisely because it has such a large population with so much of the metropolitan area relying on these services.”

Additional program cuts that could unfairly affect New York City include:

* Elimination of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funded programs, such as Supportive Housing for Families, Summer Youth Employment, Flexible Fund for Family Services, Child Care Subsidies.
* Reduction in various homeless, refugee and employment programs, such as the Homeless Intervention Program, Citizenship Program, NYS Refugee Resettlement Assistance Program and HIV Welfare-to-Work Program.

“We must ensure that cuts are balanced equitably across the state and do not unfairly burden one region more than another,” said Senator Krueger.  “I know that the state and every local government faces serious financial hardships at this time, but there is no reason for New York City to bear the brunt of the cuts.”

By on January 25, 2010, 7:33 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Krueger, Kruger and Bloomberg”

  1. Larry Littlefield Says:
    January 26th, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Prediction: it’s going to get much worse. But not until after November 2010. We’ll get another unbalanced budget, or no budget, before then, and more borrowing and deferred pension contributions.

    To Generation Greed, if there isn’t a total collapse when they are gone, they left something on the table. They arent’ going to let that happen.

  2. Bobbie Sackman Says:
    January 27th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    NYC shouldn’t bear the brunt of the cuts unfairly especially since we send billions more to Albany than we receive back in aid already. NYC is the economic engine of this state. Government dollars are important to NYC residents and the local economy.

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