Mayor Bill de Blasio is warning that Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget could translate into changes that average New Yorkers may find frightening. Not surprisingly, the governor begs to differ. But both men insist that there's nothing personal to their latest fight. Josh Robin has the story.
"Our concern here is that these are very big cuts," de Blasio said.
The mayor is worried that the governor's budget could spell danger for the city.
"For example, we're adding 2,000 more cops," de Blasio said. "We wouldn't be able to do that in the future if we lost a billion dollars from our budget."
Fiscal watchdogs also say they're alarmed. Cuomo's spending targets hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid and City University funds, with more in later years.
But when he called NY1 on Thursday, Cuomo argued his plan is one of the strongest for New York in years.
"At the end of the day what you'll see is [that] it won't cost New York City a penny," he said. "But we will make joint streamlining, policy efficiency changes."
The city has ample surpluses, but New York's financial health is being tested by falling stock markets falling and souring oversea economies.
De Blasio said the governor's plan is not all bad, as there are calls for boosted spending in housing, for instance.
But the budget also doesn't fill a landmark court order to boost city school funds. De Blasio was less vocal on that front.
Historically, mayors and governors disagree, especially over budgets. But this time it's hard to separate policy from personality, although outwardly de Blasio and Cuomo are trying to make this less about themselves.
"I don't take things personally," the mayor said. "I have a job to do."
"This is really the beginning of a discussion," the governor said.
And by Thursday evening, de Blasio released a statement saying he would work with Cuomo to find savings.
"The city of New York is greater than the governor, the mayor, an assemblywoman," Assembly Cathy Nolan, who represents parts of Queens, said when asked if the latest battle between the two is personal. "The people of the city of New York are a really big deal, and the state's a really big deal."
The precise impact on the city might not be known until Jan. 21 when the mayor releases his own spending plan.
Meanwhile, de Blasio used some tough language when outlining how he intends to beat back Cuomo's proposals:
"There's a phrase from American history: by any means necessary," the mayor said. "I would invoke that phrase."