New York City’s budget director Tuesday ordered agency heads to find spending reductions totalling $1.3 billion in anticipation of budget cuts from the state government in Albany.

“In order to be able to formulate city budget proposals which will best preserve necessary city services and the quality of life vital to us in whatever circumstances apply later this spring and again in June, I am asking city agencies to again focus on their operations in fiscal year 2011 to determine how best, to the extent necessary, we can achieve balanced city operations,” budget director Mark Page said in a letter.

He said agencies should prioritize their cuts so that they know what services and personnel to keep if budget reductions don’t amount to worst-case scenario projections.

Page asked for target savings of 7.2% from all agencies except uniformed forces and the Department of Education, which were told to find savings of 3.6% and 2.7%, respectively.

In January, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a $63.6 billion fiscal 2011 preliminary budget that did not include budget cuts proposed a week earlier in Gov. David Paterson’s executive budget. The target savings would supersede a contingency plan that the city budget office drew up immediately following the release of the governor’s budget proposal. The city and state have disagreed on the dollar amount of the cuts proposed by Paterson. The state puts them at about $750 million. 

Page’s letter came out a day after the state Senate passed a budget resolution that called for a partial restoration of cuts to state aid to the city. The state budget is due on April 1.

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