By Jill Colvin
CITY HALL — City agencies have two weeks to come up with another $600 million in budget cuts to be implemented if the state fails to provide the funds.
The Department of Education as well as the uniformed services have been asked to slash 2 percent from their respective budgets, while other agencies must find ways to cut 4 percent.
"We are seeking City budget proposals which will best preserve necessary City services and quality of life while enabling us to live without the $600 million in state actions," Budget Director Mark Page informed the agency heads in a letter sent Wednesday.
Agencies have until March 24 to submit their proposals to the Office of Management and Budget, he said.
The latest cost-saving measure comes after several rounds of deep and painful cuts, including a November hit that included the elimination of more than 6,000 teaching jobs, more than a thousand other layoffs and cuts to numerous city services, including senior centers and programs for at-risk youth.
The mayor's preliminary budget for the coming fiscal year had relied on the assumption that the state would come up with an additional $600 million in funding over what Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined in his state budget plan, including an extra $200 million in revenue sharing, $200 million more in education funding and $200 million in savings through pension reform.
The governor has so far given no indication the money is coming and Bloomberg has warned residents to brace for additional cuts.
"It’s really hard to see how Albany can come up with enough money to make a difference," Bloomberg told WOR’s John Gambling last Friday when asked about the cuts.