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Westchester State Lawmakers React to Governor's Proposed Budget
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo today took the wraps off his proposed budget for 2011-2012.
He's promising the $132.9 billion spending plan will eliminate the state's expected $10 billion deficit without any new taxes. The governor said he plans to reduce the cost of state government by cutting 10% from state agencies and working with employee labor unions to achieve cost savings. He threatened, however, that if an agreement isn't reached, nearly 10,000 state workers will face layoffs.
The proposed budget calls for a 7.3% cut in state aid to schools.He's also calling for a roughly 3% cut in Medicaid spending.
Republican Westchester Assemblyman Robert Castelli of Goldens Bridge said he liked what he heard but that "the devil is in the details." Said Castelli,"There is in in this budget enough pain for everyone, but the fact of the matter is you're looking at some bold strokes here. The cuts to education and Medicaid are less than 3% each, so we're not looking at laying waste to these programs."
Democratic Westchester Assemblyman George Latimer agreed, "Some of the specifics indicate government aid to local municipalities will come to about 2%. I think that while not a welcomed bit of news it can be absorbed by the communities I represent." Latimer went on to add, "But we do know that there just isn't any money out there that's going to be coming as found money so we're gonna have to do with what we've got.
The state is hoping to have a budget approved by the April 1 deadline.
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