Paterson Orders $500m in Cuts

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Governor Paterson has ordered state agencies to make $500 million in across-the-board cuts to try to help close a projected $3 billion deficit. Karen DeWitt reports.

REPORTER: The agencies hardest hit by the cuts according to Paterson's budget director Robert Megna are public colleges in the SUNY and CUNY systems, as well as prisons, health services and transportation.

MEGNA: This is step one in a plan to eliminate our deficit.

REPORTER: Megna says the governor is going as far as he can to control costs without seeking permission from the legislature. Paterson's budget director says the administration is working collaboratively with the legislature to come up with more savings.

But legislative leaders have said they're waiting for the governor to show them a specific plan that they can act upon. A spokesman for the largest state worker union the CSEA calls the cuts poor choices and bad public policy. In Albany I'm Karen DeWitt.