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New York’s Paterson Asks for ‘Up-or-Down’ Budget Vote

David Paterson, governor of New York
David Paterson, governor of New York, speaks to the media outside the White House in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 22, 2010. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

New York Governor David Paterson said he would ask state lawmakers for a “simple up-or-down” vote on his proposed executive budget for the year that began April 1.

If they don’t pass the plan, Paterson said he would ask the Legislature to convene five days a week, instead of three, until they reach an agreement.

“If the Legislature does not stay in Albany to pass a budget, I will be forced to consider all of my options at that time, including compelling them to stay,” Paterson said in a statement today.

Paterson said he plans to ask for a one-day-a-week furlough of about 100,000 state workers to lower labor costs by $30 million a week.

New York, the third most-populous U.S. state, may sell cash-management notes or delay paying bills to cope with a cash shortage in the first week of June, Robert Megna, the state’s budget director, said today. Earlier this month, he said the state faced a $1 billion shortage in its cash balance.

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