Council members push Quinn to find money to stave off budget cuts

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Twenty-one Democrats in the New York CIty Council are joining New York Communities for Change in urging City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to restore cuts to education and social service programs that were proposed in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's budget. 

The advocates and members propose to pay for the restorations with hundreds of millions of dollars in found money, including unclaimed Medicaid reimbursements, a business tax hike and efficiencies in city contracts with commercial banks.

"We should be tightening rules on big corporations and banks rather than hurt those who can afford it least," wrote Jonathan Westin, chief organizer of New York Communities for Change, in a statement.

Here are the revenue sources detailed in a letter sent to Quinn today:

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-$358 million in unclaimed Medicaid reimbursements;

-$60 million from changes to contracts with six of the largest banks that do business with the city;

-$235 million from an expansion of the Unincorporated Business Tax

Councilmembers signing onto the letter are Margaret Chin, Rosie Mendez, Dan Garodnick, Gale Brewer, Robert Jackson, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ydanis Rodriguez, Oliver Koppell, Fernando Cabrera, Helen Foster, Annabel Palma, Danny Dromm, Leroy Comrie, Liz Crowley, James Sanders, Stephen Levin, Tish James, Mathieu Eugene, Charles Barron, Jumaane Williams and Debbie Rose.