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Governor's emergency bill trims $327 million in state spending

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Governor David Paterson

By WBFO News

Albany, NY – Governor David Paterson Friday called for $327 million in spending cuts in mental health and human services programs in his latest emergency spending bill, setting up a showdown with lawmakers Monday that could shut down state government.

Paterson's bill was negotiated with legislative leaders through Friday and more talks are expected over the weekend.

Democratic State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. said in an interview Friday he won't vote for another emergency bill that cuts funding to the poor and needy in his Bronx district. If he holds to that, the Senate's razor-thin Democratic majority would need at least one rare Republican crossover vote to pass the emergency spending bill and avoid an unprecedented shutdown.

But Republicans, after being briefed on Paterson's bill, wouldn't say if they will make up for Diaz and support the bill Monday, or reject it, triggering a shutdown.

The Albany Times Union reported Friday afternoon that there are a couple of Republican state senators who say they're not likely to cast a vote that would lead to a shutdown of state government.