Paterson Stresses the Importance of Cuts to Education, Medicaid in Special Joint Session

By
Governor David Paterson is dead serious about cutting $480 million in aid to local school districts. Photo: Getty Images

“I will mortgage my political career on this plan. I will not mortgage the state of New York.” So said Governor David Paterson in a special joint session of the New York State Assembly and Senate in Albany this afternoon. Paterson reiterated the importance of making aggressive budget cuts in areas such as Medicaid and education in order to address New York’s estimated two-year $10 billion deficit. The proposed cuts in those areas total over $750 million and, to be fair, New York spends more money on Medicaid than any other state — $2,283 per capita, compared to second-most Rhode Island’s $1,659. Alternative plans, such as the one proposed by Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson of Brooklyn, could raise $500 million or more by refunding bonds that are backed with money from tobacco companies, but that might not be enough. State lawmakers will begin debating the cuts, along with same-sex marriage and the extension of the comptroller’s authority, in a special session called by Paterson tomorrow.

Paterson Demands Spending Cuts, Tax Amnesty to Close Budget Gap [Bloomberg]