Paterson Announces $5 Billion State Budget Cut Plan

patersonoff2.jpg Following up on his previous announcement, Governor Paterson laid out the "very painful plan" he has devised to cut not only the expected half-billion from the state budget -- which, given the state's $3 billion deficit, is like a bankrupt household resolving to spend less on stamps and paper towels -- but a total of $5 billion in a year and a half.

As foreshadowed, education, health, and social services are the prime targets. Some governmental agencies, such as the Battery Park City Authority, will be raided for cash.

Paterson also expects whoever finally gets the Aqueduct racino contract to pay $200 million up front for it, rather than over two years as previously stated, and a windfall of $350 million from a tax amnesty program.

Healthcare Association of New York State immediately rose to denounce the cuts ("once again, health care has been disproportionately targeted"). Paterson is unlikely to heed them. "All of us will have to sacrifice to save the state," he said.

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