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Cuomo Pitches Budget Proposal to Westchester Officials

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spelled out a blueprint to tackle New York’s “unsustainable” fiscal path Thursday morning at Manhattanville College calling for reductions in state aid to education and Medicaid and encouraging shared services and consolidation.
In a reprise of his budget message Tuesday in Albany before state, county and local officials, Cuomo said he is proposing a 2 percent decrease in Medicaid spending in the 2011-12 fiscal budget, which would represent a nearly $1 billion reduction, and $1.5 billion less in school aid.
Last year the legislature approved spending increases of just over 13 percent in Medicaid and education.
Cuomo said school districts have more than $1 billion in untapped reserves  that could be used to help offset the loss in aid but also proposed to offer two $250 million incentive grants for achievement and more efficient business practices.
In addition, he has proposed reducing the size of state government through agency consolidations. Without these steps, New York will continue to lose businesses and residents in a state where property taxes are nearly double the national average.
“In this global world, in this marketplace where businesses can close up their laptop and move, when you have this type of tax burden, businesses will leave and they are leaving,” Cuomo said. ” Businesses leave, people leave, you generate less revenue, the state raises more taxes to make up for the lost revenue and we have businesses leave.”
Cuomo’s appearance kicked off the first in a series of budget presentations he will give throughout the state in hopes convincing the public that major changes are needed.

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