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The State Budget, Education (public employees/unions), Cuomo (in his own words), and a few other things

February 18, 2011

Here is the Senate Republican Majority under Skelos, review of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget, and here is the Assembly Democrat Majority under Silver, review of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget. Hearings will be taking up most of the legislature’s time for the next few weeks, probably right up to April 1st. So have a read and get a sense of what they might be thinking.

We spend more per student than any other state, large in part that is because of higher than average wages salaries and benefits. So a wage freeze that could save us over $1 billion is a must. Combining that with a higher contribution for health care, although we can hear the arguments already that would be a pay cut, actually only gets them in line. Remember it’s the private sector that has to pay for you and can no longer sustain the unsustainable path, besides private worker wages have been stagnant – effectively frozen – and all the while we are paying higher and higher health care contributions. We also pay almost entirely for our retirement, and teachers along with every other state employee pays very little. That too must be reformed.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO ON THE BUDGET AND EDUCATION (his words):

You elected me to be your voice in Albany and to make tough decisions. Few issues are as critical to the future of our state as reforming our education system.

Right now, we rank number one in the nation in spending per student, and number 34 in student achievement. Worse still, these poor results are coming after a decade of record spending increases in education funding.

Throwing money at the problem is not the answer. We need to cut the bureaucratic fat and champion reforms that will help our students achieve their true potential.

We need to spend smarter. To this end I have proposed a $250 million fund for competitive awards to school districts that have the greatest improvement in student performance. A similar fund of $250 million will reward school districts that produce the most innovative means to cut waste from the system.

In the debate over the state budget, it is important to focus on the facts instead of overheated rhetoric. While I have asked state agencies to cut their budgets by 10%, I have only sought an average 2.9% reduction in overall school spending. And I have suggested many ways in which school districts can absorb these reductions without laying off teachers, cutting programs or harming students. 

* School districts have $1.5 billion in reserves and unspent federal funds that will allow many to absorb the proposed $1.5 billion cuts without service reduction.

* Freezing wages, as I have proposed to do for state workers, would save school districts $1.1 billion.  

* Having school district employees make the same health care contributions that state employees make would result in $500-$600 million in savings.

* Cutting the salaries of the more than 2,000 high priced school administrators who receive more than $150,000 in salaries and benefits would result in substantial savings.

At a time when New Yorkers are watching every penny, we can no longer afford to throw money at a system bloated with waste and inefficiency. By coming together and acknowledging that fixing our schools means placing the interests of our students ahead of special interests, we can make New York’s schools the envy of the rest of the nation.

Group in Crosshairs of Cuomo Budget Cuts Take to the Airwaves – WNYC

First of all, how could Liz of all people…sensitive Liz allow a link to this headline with the words “crosshairs” on her blog. Truly a Palinesque moment for our favorite blogger at YNN.
Now to the meat on the bone…The teachers union is taking to the airwaves to tell us their side of the story….Good for broadcasters I guess…I hope they buy the HOTLINE so their important message of spending and taxation can reach the poor and huddled listeners of AM-1240….Betcha they only do TV…That way they can show pix of the children.
Wouldn’t it be neat if they turned on the superintendents ?…there is rage against too much fat at the top and teachers could…oh wait, its the superintendents who negotiate the contracts…don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Guess we will stick to the core message…keep things as they are or the children are toast.
Group in Crosshairs of Cuomo Budget Cuts Take to the Airwaves – WNYC – 02/18/11

Speaking of:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s brief remarks tonight at the gala that caps the annual caucus weekend were interrupted by one of his 2010 opponents, NYC Councilman Charles Barron, who formed the racist black-latino only socialist “Freedom Party” to run, garnering less than 50000 votes thank goodness, along with his wife Assemblywoman Inez Barron, led supporters in loud chants of “tax the rich” and “shame on you” at Cuomo from the back of the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. Cuomo soldiered on as Barron, who ran an…

AND THIS IS GOOD NEWS, BECAUSE THEY CAN NO LONGER RUN OUR STATE (AND THEY HAVE BEEN). IT TIME THE PEOPLE WE ELECT ARE BACK IN CHARGE, AND FULLY SO, MEANING NOT ON THE END OF A PUPPETT STRING.

Cuomo: I’ll spend more than $4M on union war

Brendan Scott, Post Correspondent | ALBANY – Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo said he was girding for a multi-million-dollar war with public…  Read On

AND NOW WHERE WE PART WITH CUOMO, NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE TRY TO AND WANT TO SUPPORT HIM ON FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE ECONOMIC PRINCIPLES AND BUDGET MATTERS:

Feb 14, 2011

CUOMO THROWS OUT GAUNTLET: Pushing that damn Gay Marriage again

“Cuomo Says He’ll Push for Vote to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. Fourteen months after the State Senate soundly rejected legislation that would have legalized same-sex marriage, (which was the second time in as many years) Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is preparing to pursue another vote on the matter in the next few months. Mr. Cuomo, who included legalizing same-sex marriage in his campaign platform, said Wednesday that he intended to ask the Legislature to take up the matter in its current session, which ends in June.”  With all his fiscal conservatism and so forth, suppose he has to do something to keep his lefty supporters half sane, but regardless, don’t push it, we of the righty pursuation are trying to work with with you and give you some support. Our State Senate better make it clear to you that it won’t pass, so get off it and stay concentrated on what government is supposed to. (That does not include playing God, Mother Nature, and social engineering, Ok).

Leviticus 18:22:  “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

~ ~ ~

Do you want to make your voice heard to Cuomo on this or any other issue. Have an idea or concern? Here’s a way, and here’s what Cuomo says.

From: Governor Cuomo <Governor.Cuomo@exec.ny.gov>
Subject: Thank you for your Correspondence
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Date: Thursday, February 17, 2011, 4:48 PM

Thank you for becoming part of my Citizens Campaign.

The ideas, comments and suggestions that I receive through this website will be crucial as I engage the public in our discussion to increase accountability and restore New Yorkers’ faith and trust in their government. Only through this will we truly have a government by the people and for the people, a government of which we can all be proud. You have become an integral part of the ongoing dialogue that is vital to my work as Governor.

Because of the overwhelming response to this website, if may not be possible to provide a personal response. However, you can be assured that each and every e-mail received will be read and shared with the appropriate members of my staff, who will provide me with frequent reports on the suggestions received through this web site.

I encourage you to visit other links at this website, where you can review my Administration’s initiatives and familiarize yourself with my office and YOUR state government.

Again, thank you for being a part of the process to reform government and once again make it work for all New Yorkers.

Sincerely,

Andrew M. Cuomo

 http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/NYCitizensCampaign/index.php

 and some more of his own words, as posted on the “Let’s Fix Albany” site.

One more thing…

Although not married, Cuomo’s fiancee’ Sandra Lee is living in the Governor’s mansion, has insider access, and has alot of her own interest and money. So we must agree: If Gov. Cuomo is cleaning house (ethics), then Sandra Lee’s investments need to be public: watchdog groups

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