Governor's Budget Plan Stirring Strong Opposition

Governor Paterson's plan to cut state spending by $2 billion dollars has set off intense opposition, especially for his plan to cut $585 million dollars in aid to schools. WNYC's Bob Hennelly reports.

REPORTER: The Governor is trying to put the best face on his austerity plan by saying even with rollbacks, school aid would jump by a billion dollars despite a dramatic decline in state revenues. But education advocates vow to fight the reductions. Paterson's call for the state's labor unions to give back a 3 percent salary hike they already won, is also raising ire. Kenneth Brynien, whose union represents 59,OOO state employees, says the Governor could generate billions of dollars in new tax revenues by imposing a so-called millionaire's tax. As a state Senator, Governor Paterson supported such a measure, which helped the Pataki administration balance its budget. Now, Paterson says that tax would drive the wealthy out of New York, and further erode the state's declining tax base. For WNYC I'm Bob Hennelly.