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Budget Letter Shows Cuomo Will Continue Austerity for 99%, More Wealth for 1%

Budget Letter Shows Cuomo Will Continue Austerity for 99%, More Wealth for 1%

Hawkins Would Reinvest in New Yorkers and Local Community

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said that the budget letter issued to state agencies by the Cuomo administration shows that he intends to continue his austerity, trickle-down economic approach to state government.

"This budget directive makes clear that Cuomo intends to keep New York the leader in income inequality," stated Hawkins.

The budget letter instructs agencies that, despite a projected $4 billion surplus, they can not seek any increases in state spending to meet unmet needs, with small increases allowed for the two major budget items, health care and schools.

Hawkins has laid out a revenue plan that would raise an additional $30 billion while providing 95% of New Yorkers with a tax cut. (http://www.howiehawkins.org/taxcutsforus)

"During Cuomo's first four years, he has been starving local schools, state workers, teachers, local government, and essential programs of needed funding in order to support lower taxes, handouts and subsidies for his wealthiest campaign contributors. His directive shows that his second term will just be more of the same failed economic policies that has left many New Yorkers in a recession," stated Hawkins.

"We need to revitalize the public sector and invest in our communities. Our infrastructure is crumbling and school budgets have been cut drastically in recent years. We need progressive taxes and revenue sharing from the state with municipalities so that we can adequately fund public services New Yorkers depend on. We need a bottom-up economic approach that lifts up our communities. We need to fund a public jobs program to provide a living wage job to everyone who needs it," said Hawkins.

When we fail to make these investments, society and our economy suffer as a whole. If economic improvement is the goal, then increasing investments in basic services should have a significant role in the state’s continuing recovery.

Between 2010 and 2012, cuts to human services by New York State totaled approximately $1 billion. This has translated into a loss of jobs and services, and has cut holes in the safety-net that New York has worked so hard to build. Now that the state budget has begun to stabilize and there is a $4 billion surplus, now is the time to reinvest in an industry that represents 15 percent of the State’s workforce and serves millions of vulnerable and at-risk New Yorkers.

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