N.Y. Senate GOP on Paterson's budget cuts: Not so fast

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Gov. David Paterson?s proposed across-the-board budget cuts have sparked discussion among Albany lawmakers and concerned citizens across the Hudson Valley.

Paterson unveiled plans Wednesday to cut $2 billion from the state's budget for the current fiscal year, only to have state Senate Republicans put up a stop sign. Republicans, who will retain a majority in the Senate until the new session, say they won?t support the cuts unless they see an 18-month spending plan from the governor. Paterson, meanwhile, had hoped to pass the cuts in a special legislative session he called for next week.

Many residents say they?re most concerned about the proposed cuts in education, but that they also feel for the governor for having to make such difficult decisions.

"I feel bad for the governor, really bad for the students,? John Doran, of Nyack, says. ?It's actually too bad there's so much fat in the budget and you have to cut vital programs like education.?

Paterson's plan calls for cutting school aid growth and increasing tuition at state colleges by $600 a year. He is also calling for concessions from unionized state workers to avoid any layoffs as well as a reduction in state aid to Medicare.

To see Paterson's full press conference on the budget cuts, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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