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Tuesday, December 9, 2008


On the left. Thats a cleaver. A tool that is going to be used this year on the NYS budget in the 09 session. The Times Union Cap Con blog reported this today.
I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise, at a conference entitled “Rightsizing New York’s Budget,” that one of the panelists would predict the current economic downturn, combined with the Legislature’s seeming inability to make tough decisions, would lead to public employment layoffs, at least at the local level.

But that’s what E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for New York State Policy was predicting would happen, given the current budget deficit and what other speakers said was the bloated public payrolls that exist on the local and state level.

The first casualty, he predicted may be teachers for local districts or other local employees, since they will feel the pinch of state aid cuts and since layoffs among state employees would be harder to do politically, at least for the governor and legislature.

“You have no choice, you have 71 percent of your budget tied up in personnel,” McMahon said, referring to the percentage that salaries and benefits consume in local school budgets. With that in mind, other moves such as consolidating tiny school districts, running more efficient bus routes or combining back office functions are little more than tinkering around edges.