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Governor threatens more cuts in future emergency spending bills

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By Mark Scott

Albany, NY – Governor David Paterson is putting more pressure on state legislators to pass a budget.

An administration official is telling Albany reporters that Paterson's next emergency spending bill could include some cuts to human service programs as well as a one dollar per pack increase in the cigarette tax. The official, who was not named, said the emergency bill after that would include drastic cuts in school aid.

Meanwhile, the state senator who set off a debilitating coup in the chamber a year ago says he'll vote against any more of the so-called budget extenders, even at the risk of shutting down government. Senator Pedro Espada Jr., a Bronx Democrat, tells The Associated Press that he won't give the Democratic majority the 32nd vote needed next week to pass the short-term spending bill. Instead, Espada says he'll force the Senate leadership to work through the weekend to seal a deal with the Assembly and governor.

Paterson and legislative leaders from both parties will sit down again Wednesday morning for a public meeting on the budget dispute.