“Governor Cuomo put forward a budget that demonstrates a bold commitment to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing our great state. He has my strong support.
“The Governor’s push for mandate relief and pension reform could save the City billions in the long term. New York City spends more than $8 billion annually – more than 12 percent of our budget – on pension costs, more than we spend on the operating budgets for the Police, Fire and Sanitation Departments combined. Without a new pension tier, which will not diminish the retirement benefits of a single current employee, taxpayers will continue to spend more and more on pension costs, leaving less and less for public education, public safety, job creation, affordable housing and other critical services. Further, the Governor’s budget will reduce onerous local Medicaid costs by limiting – and then eliminating – the rate of growth in the City’s Medicaid bills in the years to come.
“Governor Cuomo also has proposed two important justice system reforms we have been seeking: a sweeping, progressive reform of our juvenile justice system and the expansion of DNA collection. Our administrations have worked closely together to forge an agreement that will transfer responsibility for all but the most seriously delinquent youth from State to City care, enabling more young people to stay closer to their families and transition into productive lives in their communities. And expanded DNA use can help solve more crimes and prevent wrongful convictions.
“Most urgently, the Governor has made it clear that he is determined to be a champion for our students – and that he will not allow the teachers’ union to drag its feet any longer on implementing new teacher evaluation systems across the state. I hope the UFT will not recklessly jeopardize hundreds of millions of dollars for our schools by insisting on endless obstacles to removing ineffective teachers from our classrooms. The Governor has rightly said he will not tolerate this and will help deliver rigorous teacher evaluations for our State and City.
“The Governor’s priorities are the right priorities for the State and I will be working with him to move his agenda forward. We will be reviewing the details of the budget over the coming days and I look forward to testifying before the Legislature next week.”