Cuomo: Reforming Albany in Order to Face its Fiscal Realities

By Leigh Dana

February 24, 2011 Updated Feb 24, 2011 at 6:15 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Governor Andrew Cuomo makes his first appearance in Binghamton after taking office two months ago.

The democrat outlined his plans to cut state spending and eliminate a $10 billion deficit.

Addressing a group of local leaders throughout the Southern Tier at the Riverwalk Hotel in Binghamton, Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers his Executive Budget message for a statewide transformation.

He stated, "We can't keep doing what we've been doing." "Now this will be hard." And went on to say, "We have to stop the spending spree in Albany."

In order for state government to end its spending spree, Cuomo is pushing to eliminate its $10 billion deficit without raising taxes or borrowing money.

He is proposing a 2% cut in medicaid. Barbara Fiala, Broome County Executive said, "It certainly will have a trickle down effect yes."

Cuomo is also proposing a 2% cut in education. Fiala said, "We have too many school districts in Broome County. We have the same when we had a larger population."

Cuomo also wants to slash government spending by 10%. He said, "We're going to reduce labor costs by $450 million. I believe we can do it through cooperative measures with the workforce. Last resort which no one wants is 9,800 layoffs."

Cuomo also wants to close prison facilities to save money. He says the number of people sentenced to serve time has decreased 21% since 1999. Cuomo adds juvenile justice reform could save the state $250,000 a head. A most cost effective alternative would be community based programs.

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