ALBANY—David Paterson this morning vowed he will fight in court “to keep New York State solvent” against education groups that are suing him to prevent delays in aid payments.
“I will not be intimidated in this process. I absolutely will not shirk my responsibility. I will not let those special interests ruin the state’s credit and the state’s financial position based on what they see as some sacred position that they have,” Paterson said at a press conference in New York City, echoing statements he made when the suit was filed. “This law suit is not helping the situation in the least.”
An aide to the governor said a legal reply would be filed this evening. Paterson–as well as Budget Director Bob Megna and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli–is being represented by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Paterson was asked about the Senate version of a health care bill, which would result in less Medicaid dollars for New York and has led to criticism of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand. The governor said he had spoken with Schumer twice in the last three days but is “playing phone tag” with Gillibrand, who he appointed earlier this year.
“It’s something that I’ve been talking about for at least a month, and I think the issue here is very straightforward: New York will lose over $1 billion a year in Medicaid payments when some states are not making any Medicaid payments at all,” Paterson said, noting it was “really going to put New York in a hole.”