Paterson's proposed budget cuts

paterson budget cut presserUpdated Friday morning

David Paterson released his slate of proposed cuts today aimed at closing the $2 $3 $4 billion (it seems to just keep going up) budget gap.

The Paterson Administration says the plan would cut $5 billion over the next two years (including $3 billion this year).

About half the savings ($1.3 billion) would come from cuts in local assistance. The biggest chunk of that is a cut in school aid ($480 million) -- the TU has broken out how much local districts are slated to lose. The administration has also released a list of individual programs in line for cuts. A few of the cuts that caught our eye during a quick scan of that list: the Tuition Assistance Program ($26.2 million), aid to community colleges ($22.6 million) and Operation SNUG ($400k) -- a anti-gun program which includes Albany.

The governor's plan also is banking on $200 million from striking a franchise agreement for running VLTs at Aqueduct. When (if) that deal goes through, NYRA has talked about upgrading facilities at Saratoga with some of its money from the deal. [Saratogian]

Also part of the plan, though its a long term measure, is the new "Tier V" pension for state workers. The pension tier was part of the deal Paterson struck with the state worker unions last year to avoid layoffs -- but the change never made it out of the legislature.

screengrab: ny.gov

Comments

All this and a tax increase too.

And yet, the state is surprised at the mass exodus from NY.

I can't imagine why anyone or any business would ever come here.

A big thank you to the most dysfunctional legislature in the country for making NY the least sought after state in the union.

What percentage of the budget is spent on state workers?? Nobody ever seems to want to answer that.

The Problem: Too many state workers

The Solution: lay a bunch off and make the rest work.

Let's start by cutting all the lulu's the legislators get, then cut their budgets for offices and staff, cut out the trips they take (did you know that a bunch of them are in China right now trying to drum up business for NY businesses? and who do you think is paying for that?), take away free postage for them to send us junk mail telling us how great they are, cut the per diem they get for being in Albany to DO THEIR JOBS, cut the pork, then fire all the political appointees who are in every state agency getting fat paychecks based on who they know instead of being able to do a job, eliminate all the do-nothing Authorities that exist outside of the public scrutiny, then see how much the deficit is before starting to make cuts to programs where people will suffer because of them.

@Joe,
Nice job playing the “bash State workers” card. Here’s some info for ya: Salaries and fringe in the 2009 State budget cost about $17.875 billion out of a $131.9 billion budget, or a whopping 14%. You can always find some slug lifer reading his TU In the break room, but who do you think is guarding your prisons, plowing your highways, inspecting your bridges, educating college students, cleaning up oil spills, treating drug addicts, processing drivers licenses, and monitoring the H1N1 virus, among lots of other work? That's not too bad for 14 cents on the tax dollar.

Well, there are no easy answers, but I think Paterson made the right choices. More than half of total state budget spending goes to Medicaid and K-12 school aid -- and quite fittingly much of the deficit reduction plan is cuts to Medicaid and education. Remember the answer Willie Sutton gave when asked why he robbed banks -- "because that's where the money is."

Justin, how are you with the idea of state workers giving up the cost of living adjustments that they are scheduled to receive (I believe)? That would help, especially as the Fed has declared that COLA's are unnecessary for the year (hence no ride in Social Security)?

Us folks in much of the not-for-profit field have not gotten any such adjustments in years, and this budget will only make it worse. I was informed yesterday to expect "a rolling terrain" employment wise in the near future due to these cuts...Yikes!

Justin - Thank you. Lets keep in mind, too, that the highest paid state workers are the political appointees, not the regular stiffs. I don't want to say that the pols don't do work, either - more of them do than do not. I work in personnel, for example, and I and my fellow coworkers work our tails off.

James - the unions have to agree to it, and they won't. Spitzer signed a 4 year contract that the State couldn't afford. Anyone with half a brain knows that if you don't honor a contract, you'll get sued, and the only way to change it is to get the other party to renegotiate the terms. It ends with the 2010-2011 budget year, so they can regroup after that.

Rob - It actually makes up closer to 2/3 of the budget. Add in local assistance, and we're at 3/4.

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