Gov. Paterson sounds alarm on budget deficit
During a visit to a Westhampton Beach synagogue, Gov. David Paterson spoke to News 12 Long Island about the urgent need to fill the state's $6.1 billion budget deficit.
?If we don't close the budget deficit, we're in violation of the law,? Paterson says. ?And secondly, the rating services will prevent us from borrowing, so we'll be in worse shape.?
On Wednesday, Paterson declared that New York State is officially in a recession due largely to Wall Street's woes. The governor imposed an immediate hiring freeze and cut state agency budgets by another 7 percent to save $630 million without decreasing services.
The governor also urged state lawmakers to find ways to cut spending by another $600 million.
?We have another economic forecast coming in October, and unless the recovery has begun by then, which certainly is in doubt, we will have further deficit to this year's budget,? he says.
Paterson adds that school aid and health care will also be affected by the cuts.
Lawmakers will return to Albany Aug. 19 for an emergency session. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos have promised to cooperate with the governor, but Skelos says he won't support a plan that would cut school aid.