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Politics

Rochester mayor says budget emergency is "real this time"

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Rochester's acting mayor says he's not crying wolf about the effect state aid cuts will have on cities.

Joseph Spector at Gannett reports that mayors of New York's big cities descended on Albany yesterday to blast cuts in municipal aid.  Rochester's acting mayor said that his city was not crying wolf:

Acting Rochester Mayor Carlos Carballada warned that the city faces a fiscal emergency if it isn't provided flexibility from Albany or doesn't receive more state aid. The city has a $50 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year, which for cities starts July 1. "We all have too many expenses and not enough revenue. That's been an issue for a long time," he said. "Except at the present time, we consider this a real financial emergency. This is real this time."

The attitude from Buffalo's mayor was slightly less dire.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the city faces $119 million in employee benefit costs this year for pensions and health care, 26 percent of its overall budget. "I cannot honestly stand before you today and say that we can continue to do more with less without cutting into core services, but we recognize we must contribute" to help the state out of its financial problems, Brown said.

“Sane” budget
Writing in the Watertown Daily Times, the president of Syracuse's economic development agency, Robert Simpson, says the governor's budget proposal is "sane and well-reasoned:"

His plans to spur economic development through regional economic development councils and reward innovation and competition are a strong indication that the future of the state's business climate is one of hope and prosperity. Without question, this budget will be painful for everyone, but a disciplined state budget is necessary to position New York for future growth. As part of the Committee to Save New York, CenterState CEO is working with a broad coalition of partners to accomplish three goals: pass a balanced budget that does not raise taxes; cap the alarming growth of property taxes in our state; and return power to local officials by relieving local governments of stifling, state-imposed mandates.

Budget revealed
Karlin at the Times Union's Capitol Confidential blog has posted the senate's analysis of the governor's budget.  You can read the entire document online.

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