Bloomberg pitches $70 billion budget plan
The city's budget won't hurt New Yorkers' paychecks but the public schools will bear the burden of keeping it balanced, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday.
The mayor noted that the $70.1 billion proposal - the last of his tenure in City Hall - does not include new taxes because of the Big Apple's economic growth over the last few years and there would no layoffs for city employees.
Bloomberg, however, said some he would have to make major cuts to some services, especially the Department of Education after the city lost $250 million in state funding over a failed teacher evaluation plan.
New York is expected to bring in more than $50 billion in revenue during the next fiscal year. Bloomberg said private employment has grown to more than 3.1 million, greater than the peak before the economic downturn in 2008.
He credited the city's expanding industries such as finance and tech for the job growth.
"Our sound management of city finances give private employees a reason to relocate here and create jobs for New Yorkers," Bloomberg said.
The mayor reiterated the point he made in Albany on Monday that the inability to come to an agreement with the United Federation of Teachers over teacher evaluations by the state's deadline would have long-lasting effects on students.
Because the city wasn't able to receive an additional $250 million, the city would lose 2,500 teachers through attrition by the end of the next school year and certain school services, like after school programs, would be cut.
The mayor said the cuts would be painful and pushed the union to come to an agreement as soon as possible so that the city didn't lose more state funding.
"I am convinced the suffering we will go through will be worth it to get the best evaluation deal for our kids," he said.
The budget estimated that the Oct. 29 storm cost the city $4.5 billion for various expenses such as emergency services, debris cleanup and infrastructure improvements. Even though the storm's bill is huge, Bloomberg said it wouldn't have any impact on the city's budget because of Congress's Sandy emergency aid package that the Senate approved Monday.
"It doesn't increase our deficit. The federal government will pay for it all," the mayor said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's potential successors sound off on his last budget proposal of his 12-year stint at City Hall.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn:
"The council has serious concerns about the negative consequences reflected as a result of the absence of a deal on teacher evaluations. A further failure to strike a deal would be potentially devastating to our city's students."
City Comptroller John Liu:
"This budget illustrates the mayor's continuous refusal to negotiate contracts with our city's workforce, which he is leaving for the next administration. His reliance on one-shots and a 'my way or the highway' negotiation strategy has led us here, and, sadly, our kids will pay the price."
City Comptroller Bill Thompson:
"Threatening teacher layoffs and scapegoating our workforce does not make this situation any better. It exacerbates it by doubling down on the tactics that got us here in the first place."