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Paterson Defends His Budget

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Governor Paterson calls his budget "fair and balanced," even though he acknowledges that the cuts will be painful.

REPORTER: The proposal calls for $13.7 billion in deficit reduction for fiscal years 2009 and 2010. During a conference call Friday, Paterson said state lawmakers who are attacking individual elements of the budget aren't seeing the big picture: that the state is deep in what the governor calls "Recessionville" and could fall into depression if spending isn't brought under control now.

PATERSON: Even if we do compromise and try some other methods, we're going to have to undergo some severe cuts. There are going to have to be reductions to the workforce, and there are going to have to be fee increases of some kind distributed around the state.

REPORTER: The plan currently includes more than a hundred new or increased taxes and fees on top of the layoffs and cuts to schools, hospitals, and municipal aid to the city.

Paterson says before the legislature reconvenes next month, members with legitimate concerns about cuts should come to him with concrete alternatives that would save the state an equivalent amount of money.

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