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Budget sees Paterson, Bloomberg at odds with...everyone

Stephon Johnson | 4/12/2011, 5:31 p.m.

This week, Paterson decided to hold his first public meeting in months with other officials and legislators with hopes of reviving state budget discussions. The governor said he needs about $250 million in savings from the state's public employees.

"I don't feel like furloughing workers. I don't want to lay anybody off," said Paterson on Monday. "But there were those who didn't make tough decisions in the past that have dumped this on my lap." Paterson, however, still isn't ruling out layoffs, despite union leaders' claims that they have a "no layoff" agreement with the governor.

Paterson said, "When there are intervening events that are out of the contemplation of the parties...that could be a way to theoretically lay people off."

As the AmNews reported last week, Paterson, along with state legislators, said government furloughs would save the state close to $30 million a week.

With President Barack Obama slated to cut New York State funding for terrorism by 25 percent for port security and 27 percent for transit security, it's been a rough month for the Big Apple. But Paterson advised New Yorkers not to get caught up in public disputes and urged them to recognize that he's doing right by the city.

"I am calling on federal officials to work with the New York congressional delegation, my Office of Homeland Security and the Mayor's office to come to a mutual resolution on this dispute," said Paterson.

But that might not be possible. The state and city governments are struggling to agree on a budget. Some would consider it a small miracle if the federal government's relationship with New York were any different.