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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

jefferson democrat GOVERNOR PATERSON,

Governor David A. Paterson, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced a plan to fully close the State’s current-year $1.6 billion deficit. The agreement does not include the use of either potential federal stimulus funding or resources from the State’s rainy day reserves.

“Regardless of any action that may be taken at the federal level, it is clear that New York has a responsibility to get its own fiscal house in order. Any stimulus aid we receive will only cover a fraction of our long-term deficit. We cannot simply look to Washington to solve all of our budget problems,” said Governor Paterson. “That is why we have come together today to produce a proactive plan that will eliminate our current-year deficit. This is exactly the type of responsible government New Yorkers deserve.

”In addition to closing the State’s current-year $1.6 billion shortfall, the plan will also put a down payment of $800 million on next year’s deficit, reducing the 2009-10 budget gap from $13.8 billion to $13 billion.

“While I applaud the Legislature for working with me to take the prudent and responsible actions necessary to close this year’s deficit, I know that we all recognize an even greater task awaits us in the weeks ahead,” Governor Paterson added. “Addressing next year’s $13 billion deficit will require us to make more tough choices. But today’s agreement demonstrates that we are united in our commitment to meet the challenges ahead.”