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Judge issues preliminary injunction stopping furloughs

By Mark Scott

Albany, NY – A federal judge ruled this morning against Governor David Paterson's proposal to furlough 100,000 state employees one day a week.

US District Judge Lawrence Kahn issued a preliminary injunction that upholds a challenge brought by the state's public employee unions. His ruling also says Governor Paterson cannot withhold raises that were due state employees on April 1st.

Kahn says in his order he's not saying the state can't take steps to address a fiscal crisis, but he doesn't believe these measures would be upheld.

Paterson has been extremely critical of the unions for not sacrificing at a time when other New Yorkers are having to tighten their budgets.

The unions argued the furloughs were unconstitutional.