04.28.10

SCHUMER, LOWEY REVEAL THAT NEW GOP BUDGET PLAN GUTS EDUCATION, HOUSING AND POLICE AID FROM NEW YORK STATE COMMUNITIES

New Data Show City by City Cuts in Key Programs

US Senator Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Nita M. Lowey today revealed new data showing that New York State communities stand to lose millions of dollars in education, housing and police aid as a result of Republican's proposed appropriations cuts. In a plan that is gathering steam, the GOP recently proposed cutting discretionary spending across the board in order to meet self imposed spending caps.

Schumer and Lowey's analysis of cuts to New York State is based on Congressional Budget Office estimates that the across the board cuts would equal 5.5% for all discretionary spending like education, housing, police aid, defense and veterans' affairs, in order to reach the targets.

"It would be hard to find a single person in New York State who feels that we should be doing less for our schools, to fight crime and for economic development," said Sen. Schumer. "But that is exactly what this clumsy budget approach does."

Under the GOP plan, New York State stands to lose $105 million in aid to hire new teachers, $32 million in Community Development Block Grant aid to help struggling communities fund economic development projects and neighborhood programs, and $93.4 million in COPS money, enough to hire 1,458 new police officers to walk neighborhood streets.

"These proposed cuts will hit New Yorkers where it hurts by reducing the number of cops in our communities; ignoring our call for safe, wellsupervised afterschool programs; eliminating the President's initiative to reduce class sizes by hiring 100,000 new teachers; and severely underfunding housing and community development programs for New York, including the very popular CDBG program," said Rep. Lowey. "New York deserves better." "The GOP leadership has decided to step on the backs of hardworking New York families to get themselves out of the political box they crawled into," said Rep. Lowey.

Schumer and Lowey agreed that one solution would be to raise the tobacco tax by several cents in order to fund these programs or to find more well thought out cuts.

The Office of Management and Budget estimates that the across the board spending cuts will ultimately be much higher than 5.5%, closer to 9%, once new spending for Hurricane Floyd is factored in. As a result, the cuts to New York communities could actually be far greater than this analysis indicates.

"These are doomsday numbers under a best case scenario," said Sen. Schumer. "Everyone is beginning to talk about a budget train wreck on Capitol Hill. This analysis shows that the victims are the kids who sit in overcrowded classrooms every day."

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