New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled his first executive budget Tuesday afternoon - a fiscal plan that features no new taxes and no new borrowing.
Cuomo's proposed $132.9 billion budget includes the potential for up to 9,800 layoffs within the state workforce.
The governor's fiscal plan comes in at about $2.1 billion less than the current year, which totals approximately $135 billion. The state is facing a budget deficit in excess of $10 billion.
Before Cuomo took the stage to deliver his budget address, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said the fiscal plan for 2011-12 will make New York competitive once again.
"New York ranks, currently, 50th in terms of business climate across the country," he said. "We are bleeding people and jobs - they're leaving the state. The most important thing I can see is it stops today."
Duffy also noted that Cuomo has cut state operations by 10 percent.
"The rest of the state is being cut by approximately two percent," he said. "So for those who may feel some pain, one thing I would offer is that if you want to trade your two percent for the governor's 10 percent, he would gladly take it. He has taken the pain himself and made some very painful decisions with this process. But it has to start right at home with state government."
The budget calls for a 7.3 percent cut in state aid to school districts, down $1.5 billion from past years. That amounts to 2.9 percent less state aid in 2011-12.
Cuomo also hopes to use attrition to achieve a savings of $550 million next year.
Budget Director Robert Megna hailed Cuomo's budget as visionary.
"This is a transformational budget that stops the cycle of relentless and unaffordable spending growth," he said. "It changes the way the state does business in very fundamental ways."
Overall, the plan reduces the state budget by 2.7 percent. Cuomo says the budget addresses New York's massive deficit and targets projected deficits in future years.
Cuomo says that for too long, the state spent more than it made.
"Over the past 10 years we've had a spending average of 5.7 percent while only bringing in 3.8 percent in tax receipts," he said. "We were spending more money than we were making as a state. We were spending more money than we were making as people."
So far, Cuomo has received both praise and criticism for his budget. Environmental officials hailed him for holding the line on the Environmental Protection Fund.
Meanwhile, business leaders say the budget will end overspending that has forced jobs from the state.
Health care officials say his plan to cut some $1 billion from Medicaid is too much and could devastate hospitals.
State Senator Betty Little said Cuomo's approach to the budget is something New Yorkers haven't seen for years.
"This is a clarion call for government to be something it is not
typically: innovative," she said.
"Government is notoriously inflexible but now is the time to think creatively about ways to operate more efficiently, eliminate waste and redundancy wherever possible and ensure that state resources are used in the best way possible."
Cuomo called upon legislators to pass at least two bills in the coming months. For starters, he wants broad ethics reform.
Secondly, he wants lawmakers to pass his budget in a timely manner.
"Pass it without getting ugly," Cuomo said. "Pass it even though it's hard. Pass it even though the lobbyists are beating you up. Pass it even though it's difficult. And say to the people of this state: we stepped up."
Cuomo said lawmakers can do more good for New York in the current legislative session than politicians have done in decades.