Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who covers criminal justice, terrorism and the courts for WNYC. She found her way into public radio after practicing law for five years, and can definitely say that walking the streets of New York City with a microphone is a lot more fun than being holed up in the office writing letters to opposing counsel.
With Furloughs On Hold, Paterson Won't Rule Out Layoffs
Monday, May 17, 2010
New York, NY –
Gov. David Paterson is not ruling out layoffs as a way to get savings from the state's workforce after a federal judge last week blocked the governor's plan to furlough workers one day a week.
The state is facing a $9.2 billion deficit and Paterson says he needs to find $250 million in savings from New York's public employees. That, he says, will mean tough decisions.
"I don't feel like furloughing workers. I don't want to lay anybody off. I don't want to do any of these things. But there were those who didn't make tough decisions in the past that have dumped this on my lap," the governor says.
Furloughs, if out into effect, would have saved the state an estimated $30 million a week. State workers unions sued, saying furloughs were an illegal breach of their contract.
Paterson made his remarks today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new section of Hudson River Park. Meanwhile, state parks officials today started shutting down 55 parks and historic sites statewide because of the ongoing lack of a state budget.