ALBANY—David Paterson just called for $5.2 billion in budget cuts and revenue-generating measures, well beyond the $2 billion he was expected to announce at the press conference he’s holding right now in his midtown office.
The adjustments he’s proposing include:
–$800 million from reducing growth of education in 2009 from nine percent to five percent. “It’s not a cut,” Paterson said. “It is a reduction in what are the scheduled increases.”
-$572 million from reducing Medicaid growth from two percent to one percent.
-$137 million from postponing scheduled raises for 2009 to public employees. “We cannot do this without their cooperation,” he said, referring to a proposal to re-open contracts with public employees unions. “We’re not going to schedule any layoffs, and we’re not planning any reductions to the workforce.”
– a $600 increase in SUNY tuition. “As we move to the special session, it is important to recognize that the longer we delay action on our deficit, the more we are going to compound problems later on,” Paterson said.