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State Lawmakers Sent Home without Agreement on Deficit Reduction

By Mark Scott

Albany, NY – State lawmakers were sent back to their districts Thursday after spending the week in Albany waiting for their leaders to reach an agreement on closing a $3.2 billion deficit in the current year's budget.

Closed door meetings between legislative leaders and Governor David Paterson continue. Legislators are expected back in the Capital on Monday, perhaps sooner if leaders agree on a plan.

Paterson says he understands the reluctance of lawmakers to make painful cuts.

Paterson says he agreed to let rank-and-file legislators leave Albany since their leaders appear to be negotiating in good faith.