Paterson: The Plates Were Your Christmas Gift

ALBANY—The new license plates will still trickle out, but the money the state was hoping to gain from a mandatory re-issue is still gone, David Paterson said.

“I’m just not going to put it in the budget. They didn’t address it, but I’m not going to put it in the budget. In other words, that’s $129 million that I’m going to have to find some place else,” Paterson told John Gambling on WOR. “It’s one of those situations where everybody seems to be upset about this. It’s hard to just turn your back on everyone. You want people to see you’re listening to them. But that’s it. That’s the holiday gift of the year.”

Paterson and legislative leaders agreed in November that they would stop the mandatory plate re-issue, in response to a furor whipped up primarily by (mostly Republican) county clerks upstate. Paterson said that the materials were purchased, so without fees increasing or forcing a complete re-plating, the newly designed “Empire Gold” plates will start to become available in the spring.