Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver led a gathering Thursday at Gracie Mansion to urge an agenda on Congress that includes a six-month extension of the Federal Medical Assistance Program (FMAP), and increased federal funding for education.
Bloomberg said the city was depending on an additional $600 million in FMAP funding, warning of layoffs if the money doesn’t appear.
“At some point in time, once you lay off people, you can’t really bring them back,” he said of the proposed cuts. “Once you start the process, these things are very difficult to stop.”
Governor David Paterson, State Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson and several other elected officials were on hand as well.
“I think what’s important to understand is that FMAP and its Medicaid money affects everything that we do in the state and the city,” Silver said. “It’s the vehicle by which New York gets the extra money. That’s why it’s so important to us.”
Bloomberg said the city’s budget will be complete by the cutoff date of June 28. The state budget is currently two months past due.