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Paterson to include furloughs in next emergency spending bill

Governor David Paterson
Governor David Paterson

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – It appears that Governor David Paterson will carry out his threat to furlough 100,000 state workers one day a week until a new budget is approved.

Paterson said Tuesday he will include the furlough in his next emergency spending bill, which state lawmakers must either accept or reject in its entirety. Rejecting it would lead to a shutdown of state government. So, lawmakers are expected to reluctantly approve the emergency bill.

Paterson told reporters Tuesday he has no other choice.

"I have repeatedly called upon the State public employee unions to work with me to achieve critical workforce savings," Paterson said. "Because unions have not accepted any proposals to achieve necessary savings, I am left with no other choice but to move forward with this plan. I do not take this action lightly, but it is necessary given the unions' unwillingness to make any sacrifices and I will do whatever is necessary to protect New York's finances."

It's estimated the furloughs will save the state $30 million a week. Unions representing state employees are expected to challenge the furloughs in court.