Bloomberg Softens Tone On Cuomo’s Budget


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Two days after calling the state budget deal “an outrage,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg was much more conciliatory towards Albany lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday in the Bronx, the mayor seemed eager to turn the conversation toward the cuts contained in the state budget. In the middle of responding to a question about an alleged hate crime, he started talking about city services in an era of austerity.

“We’re going to have to find ways to do medical examinations, to fight hate crime with less money. We’ve got some tough times going forward here,” Bloomberg said. “We’ve got a governor who I’m a big supporter of. I think he’s doing a great job.”

The governor “has to cut the budget, the state budget. We’re going to have to deal with that,” Bloomberg continued. “And he’s I think going to help us find ways to reduce our expenses that don’t cost the state money.” The mayor outlined one way Albany could do just that — by relaxing state-mandated spending requirements — in an op-ed published Wednesday.

Bloomberg went on to praise Cuomo again, saying he’s up to the task of making hard, unpopular decisions. Any perceived rift, Bloomberg suggested, comes only from their slightly different objectives.

“Everybody wants to pick a fight, but there’s no fight with the governor. He’s got to do what he’s got to do for the state. I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do for the city,” Bloomberg said. “We’re both going to express ourselves. And in the end we need his help to help us balance our budget.”

Bloomberg continued: “He cannot give us more money. He’s got to give us less money. I’m sympathetic to that.”

(Source: WSJ)