Change will be hard is what New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo said after presenting his 2011-12 budget at in Patchogue Wednesday.
Cuomo focused his discussion on needing to make cuts that he claims will redesign and reduce excess spending in the state budget.
In particular, Cuomo talked about Medicare and education and the changes he has proposed to them.
Cuomo proposed a decrease of $982 million, or two percent, in Medicaid, for a budget of $52 billion. The Democrat said that approximately 50 cents of every dollar spent on Medicaid currently goes to administrative costs, which the state cannot afford.
“You can’t afford waste of 50 cents on the dollar every year,” Cuomo said.
For education, Cuomo has proposed a $1.5 billion dollar reduction, or 2.9 percent, of state aid for a budget of $19.4 billion for the 2011-2012 school year. Cuomo said that instead two different $250 million performance-related funds would be eligible for schools, one awarding schools for academic performance and another rewarding schools for finding ways to save money.
Cuomo said that he does not believe schools will be unable to function within these cuts, and suggested that school districts dip into reserve funds, re-evaluate the salaries of school superintendents, freeze teacher salaries and consolidate services.
“I’ve done many cases on Long Island on waste and fraud in school districts, I don’t believe that they can’t tighten their belt,” he said said citing his previous work as state attorney general.
When later asked about at a press conference held after the presentation, Cuomo said he doesn’t accept the premise that there is no waste in the school districts.
Cuomo also discussed his plan to bring more jobs to New York, which involves focusing on regions. Long Island will be a region itself, Cuomo said.
“Most of my time as governor will be spent by attracting jobs to the state,” he said.
Cuomo also discussed reducing spending toward juvenile detention facilities.
“If we succeed on this course, I truly believe we will re-position this state nationwide in terms of competition businesses,” he said.