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NYC mayor-elect will face immediate fiscal crisis

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JONATHAN LEMIRE | November 30, 2013 11:19 AM EST | AP


NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will sweep into office in January with a powerful mandate for progressive change, but a looming fiscal crisis threatens to derail his agenda before it begins.

The Democrat will contend with soaring worker health care costs, a still-fragile recovery from the recession and potentially a reduction in aid supplied by the state and federal governments.

But de Blasio's most immediate crisis comes from the city's unions. All 300,000 members of the municipal labor force have been working on expired contracts for years.

Labor leaders are asking for current and retroactive raises, a balloon payment that could eclipse $7 billion. That's nearly 10 percent of the city's entire budget.

De Blasio has not tipped his negotiating hand.