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State budget’s biggest losers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled his budget plan yesterday, calling for a total of $8.9 billion in proposed cuts. Schools, Medicaid and transportation all took a hit.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled his budget plan yesterday, calling for a total of $8.9 billion in proposed cuts. Schools, Medicaid and transportation all took a hit.

Even though Cuomo slightly increased funding to the MTA by $43 million, his budget still revealed a $100 million budget gap for the MTA — which it vowed to fill without service cuts or fare hikes.

Transportation advocates weren’t impressed. “Cuomo is taking dedicated funds away from the riders,” said Paul Steely White, director of advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.

One group escaping the knife was the Environmental Protection Fund, which Cuomo pointedly preserved. “We applaud Gov. Cuomo for clearly recognizing the linkage between environmental investments and New York’s economy,” said Darryl Banks, from New York’s Nature Conservancy.

Daniel Sisto, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State, criticized what he said amounted to $15 billion in cuts over two years. Schools lost funding, which Manhattan Councilman Robert Jackson said penalized students: “These cuts to the education budget do not solve the state’s budgetary problems.”

Bloomberg said Cuomo was “making good on his word” from campaign promises to slash the state budget, but criticized the lack of aid to New York City — missing more than $300 million he’d hoped for in local funds.

 
 
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