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N.Y. governor, legislature agree on state budget

By Leigh Remizowski, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • $10 billion deficit would be closed without new taxes
  • Spending would be cut by 2%
  • Education, human services, agriculture would get boosts

New York (CNN) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York state legislature have reached an agreement on a $132.5 billion budget that would reduce spending by more than 2% and eliminate a $10 billion deficit without raising taxes.

The budget, which was announced Sunday, would eliminate 3,700 prison beds across the state, cap spending on education and Medicaid and cut government agencies, authorities and commissions by 20%.

"This budget makes tough choices, which is what you sent me to Albany to do," Cuomo said in a statement. "It closes a $10 billion deficit with no new taxes or borrowing, redesigns government to force it to cut waste and inefficiency and finally delivers real results for hard-working families across New York state."

Cuomo outlined a series of spending cuts, including a $170 million budget reduction for the Office of Court Administration as well as 10% reductions in the budgets of the executive branch, and the offices of the Attorney General and the Comptroller. There were also $54 million in other miscellaneous cuts, he said.

"Government had to tighten its belt with the same sense of urgency that working families have been tightening their belts since the economy went into freefall in 2008," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Talk was not only of cutting back.

Recent changes to the budget included $272 million for education, which would restore funding to schools for the blind and deaf, as well as boosts in spending for human services, higher education and agriculture programs.

The agreement also creates 10 Regional Economic Development Councils to allocate economic development funds with an eye toward job creation and it combines the state's Banking and Insurance departments into one agency -- the Department of Financial Services.