Advocates rally at City Hall to protest potential cuts to Bronx youth programs

Youth advocates took to the steps of City Hall Tuesday to protest what they call 'hidden cuts' to youth services in Mayor Bloomberg's 2005 budget proposal.

One of the changes advocates are angry about is a reduction of funds for school-based health clinics. The advocates say some parents can't afford health care and rely on those clinics. Also on the chopping block are childcare, after-school activities and the summer jobs program.

A spokesperson for the mayor acknowledged the omissions but says the so-called missing funds were only allocated for one year. The spokesperson added that it's up to the City Council to write the allocations into the budget again. Mayor Bloomberg says to call the items cuts is disingenuous. He says if the programs are part of the City Council's priority then we will negotiate with them on the budget.

Still some council members are not hopeful. Speaker Gifford Miller says the mayor is robbing kids of their future.

The City Council and the mayor must reach a budget agreement by June 30.

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