NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio slammed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed state budget, saying it will short change New York City’s schools and health care system by more than a billion dollars.
While testifying at a Wednesday budget hearing, de Blasio said it would mean school programs would be cut and arts and Advanced Placement classed could not be restored. He proposed more student funding for 1,600 schools to close the achievement gap.
De Blasio also said the current budget proposal would mean closing 19 health and hospitals clinics, impacting 140,000 patients a year. Wait times would also go up with 900 doctors and nurses no longer treating New Yorkers.
The mayor suggested a tax on wealthy New Yorkers as a way to close the budget gap. Cuomo has long said he opposes raising taxes on the wealthy because a hike could drive wealthy residents away.
“This recovery must be built from the grassroots up,” de Blasio argued. “By making the wealthy pay their fair share, we can avoid these cuts to our schools, health care and social safety net – and get our City back on the road to a recovery for all of us.”
De Blasio said he supported legalization of recreational marijuana; he said it would lead to economic empowerment for communities that suffered the most from unjust enforcement in the past.