Mayor Bloomberg won’t say how many of the 6,000 teachers he’s targeted for lay offs will wind up getting pink slips, now that Albany is giving the city hundreds of millions dollars less than it sought.
The state is expected to give New York City about only $200 million of the $600 million it sought, according to a budget deal announced yesterday afternoon and Bloomberg’s aides. Outside City Hall this morning, the mayor warned, “You’re still talking about a much smaller workforce” and “It’s certainly not enough to avoid layoffs.”
Unless there’s changes to “mandate relief and pension reform, quickly,” he warned that city lawmakers will have to make cuts “greater than people expected.”
The budget deal was announced late yesterday via press release from the governor’s office. Budget bills are now being printed. Granular details of the budget are still rolling out today, giving the mayor’s people a general idea of what to expect.
“We don’t know what the details of the budget are yet,” Bloomberg said. “I know enough of the facts to be concerned but not enough to know where, necessarily…What is clear is less of our taxpayer money is going to be coming back to our city.”
At one point, the mayor defended his practice of rolling into next year extra cash from this year. The mayor’s critics in the teacher’s union and organized labor say the surplus can be used to stave off painful layoffs and service cuts.
“Keep in mind, our whole objective is not to go into the following year on the brink of bankruptcy,” he said. “We have to have some money put aside for emergencies.”
The budget deal is, technically, not approved until rank and file legislators vote on it. But Bloomberg said they’re going to rubber stamp it, since, that’s how things work in the capital.
“They haven’t voted yet, but in a practical sense, it’s Albany,” Bloomberg said. “To say it’s a formality is fair. I don’t know if it’s ever not gone the way of the leadership.”