A Budget Deal Has Been Announced—and Opposition Escalates

Community, tenant, trade union and student activists protesting outside legislative chambers on 3/30.
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The Governor, Senate and Assembly leadership have made a budget deal—a deal that hands over billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy while it cuts hundreds of millions from CUNY, schools, heath care and social services. Final decisions on higher education are still being made, but the reported figure for all higher education restorations covers only a fraction of the cuts. CUNY community colleges seem certain to receive some restoration of funds, but senior colleges may suffer the whole 10% cut. The legislature may begin voting on the budget bills as early as Tuesday or Wednesday. There is still time to demand an alternative before the votes are cast and the bills are signed, and time until December to press for a continuation of the tax surcharge on the highest incomes. The PSC is supporting two actions:

  • Tuesday, March 29th in New York City. At 5:30 pm a coalition of groups will gather at Chase Plaza (277 Park Avenue, between 47th and 48th) for an evening of music, street theater, marching and picketing to protest the budget deal and demand that millionaires pay their fair share.
  • Wednesday, March 30th in Albany: Non-Millionaires’ Rally. New York Communities for Change, Right to the City and other community-based organizations are joining forces with CUNY and SUNY students for a peaceful occupation of the State Capitol. They expect at least 1,000 to participate in the occupation on Wednesday, and many protesters will stay in the Capitol overnight. The organizers have notified the police of their intentions and no arrests are expected. Two buses will depart at Penn Station at 10:00AM and stop at Hunter College (68th St. and Lexington Ave.) at 10:30AM. One bus will return to New York City on Wednesday evening; the other will return Thursday morning (or later).

UPDATE 3/31/11. As reported in the NY Times:

To the soundtrack of chanting protesters who draped banners from staircases and banged on the doors of the legislative chambers, lawmakers finished approving Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s budget early Thursday morning....