Governor Andrew Cuomo calls New York Stat 'functionally bankrupt' in his $133 billion budget proposal. The governor says he knows it's going to be hard, but that major changes and cuts need to happen for the good of New Yorkers. Our Erin Billups reports.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- "It is a time when we're sending out an S.O.S. to save our state," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
And Governor Cuomo says his $133 billion budget proposal will do just that.
"The situation is forcing, and mandating, change," said Cuomo.
Change that cuts statewide school aid by $1.5 billion and Medicaid funding by $1 billion. The proposal also downsizes government, consolidating eleven agencies into four, and could slash as many as 9,800 state worker jobs.
"The last resort and the least favorable options of all of this would be layoffs," Cuomo said.
Governor Cuomo spent a significant amount of time during his address bashing the traditional budget formula used here in Albany, where spending levels are dictated through law.
"Albany based budgeting which is where Albany meets Enron in our opinion. The Albany budgets assume an exorbitant growth rate that is disconnected from reality," said Cuomo.
Lawmakers admit the spending formula is flawed, but object to the Governor's tone.
"I think that was a bit harsh, but he can define it as that. I don't know if his father would define it as that," said Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
Still, Senate Republicans say they're largely on board with Cuomo's plan. Others voiced concern that details pointing to how these cuts will be made, particularly within the Medicaid program and in reducing prison capacity, are missing from the proposal.
"It's certainly something that's uncomfortable, but it may also be shrewd and honest because the reality is he's only been in office for a month," said Larry Levy of Hofstra center for Suburban Studies.
More details will emerge as various task forces the Governor has assembled present recommendations.
The Governor ended with an appeal to lawmakers to ignore the already growing chorus of dissent from special interest groups.
"Pass it without it getting ugly. Pass it even though it's hard," said Cuomo.
But the Assembly Speaker, at this point, is not willing to sign on wholeheartedly.
"I think clearly we have a lot of things that we have to look at, we don't pass a budget in one day," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Lawmakers have two months before the final budget is due.
Watch the full address in the video below:
YNN CNY: Governor Cuomo unveils $133 billion budget proposal
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