Governor Threatens To Sue If 'Washington Doesn't Provide New York State With Our Fair Share Of Funding'By Marcia Kramer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Gov. Andrew Cuomo has unveiled a new state budget that heavily relies on federal funding, and if the feds don’t come through, the governor says he’ll sue.

Call it a tale of two states — one with drastic cuts and tax hikes, or one with loads of new programs to begin the COVID recovery.

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The governor’s new budget lays out two scenarios. Uncle Sam holds the cards with Cuomo vowing to force the feds’ hands if he doesn’t get his way.

“If Washington doesn’t provide New York State with our fair share of funding, we’re going to pursue litigation,” Cuomo said Tuesday.

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Scenario one has the state getting only $6 billion in federal aid. Among other things, that would mean:

  • $2 billion in tax hikes
  • $2 billion in school aid cuts
  • a $600 million cut in Medicaid funding

The governor’s big ask is for Uncle Sam to give New York $15 billion to plug his budget gap, which is his equivalent of “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Goodies would include:

  • a $400 million middle class tax cut
  • $50 million in tax credits for restaurants
  • $30 million to bring back the musical and theater industry

CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer put state budget director Robert Mujica on the spot.

“As a budget expert, how optimistic are you about getting the full $15 billion?” Kramer asked.

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“I’m confident in that we will be treated fairly,” Mujica said. “If we don’t get the $15 billion, we’ll have to do some of the pain that’s in the budget, which we would prefer not to do.”

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Some lawmakers are optimistic.

“This was unimaginable even just a month ago, but with Senator Schumer in charge of the Senate in Washington, it really breathes new life into our opportunities in New York,” Sen. Todd Kaminsky said.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris says the state will still have to raise taxes on the wealthy.

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“We can’t just sit here and just hope they come save the day,” he said. “Whatever they give us is unlikely to be enough.”

The head of the state Republican party called the budget “a joke” with “no substance or details.” It has to be passed by April 1.

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Marcia Kramer