ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ The mayors of New York's biggest cities are looking to the state Legislature for more financial help as they struggle with skyrocketing public pension and health care costs, crumbling infrastructure and expanding school budgets.

 In an annual rite nicknamed the ``Tin Cup Brigade,'' mayors from across the state were in Albany Monday for a joint legislative budget hearing. It was the first of 13 hearings on various areas of the 2014-15 state budget.

 Rochester's new mayor, Lovely Warren, asked lawmakers to replace the current local aid formula with a needs-based system.

 Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said with aid to municipalities remaining flat, her city is struggling to make needed infrastructure investments.

 And Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said he's committed to not raise property taxes, making state aid crucial to maintaining fiscal stability.