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Paterson Freezes 10 Percent Of State’s Payments

pate1.jpgGovernor David Paterson says he’s moving to withhold 10 percent of this month’s scheduled payments to schools and local governments.

In a news conference, the governor says the across the board payment delay will relieve $750 million of the remaining billion dollar budget gap.

Paterson says he has no choice after the legislature approved a deficit reduction that fell short of the $3.2 billion he said was needed.

“If the legislature won’t act, then I will. If no one else wants to stand up for the people of New York so that the state does not become insolvent, then I will do that,” Paterson said. “This state is projected to be insolvent by the end of the month, but because of the certifications that we are making today, that will not happen. I will not let the state run out of money on my watch.”

The governor is likely setting himself up for a legal battle with the legislature over whether this move is constitutional.

School groups also say they are also preparing a legal challenge if their aid is withheld.

(Source: NY1)

One Response

  1. It is a fascinating legal issue. The constitution prohibits states from impairing the value of contracts. However all appropriations must be by legislation (this goes back to Magna Carta and is in the constitution). If a state appropirates more money than they have, is the executive required to issue “rubber” checks.

    Perhaps Mr. Spitzer really didn’t like Mr. Patterson, and realized the upcoming crisis, and therefore associated with women he should not have associated with in order to find a face-saving way of avoiding the upcoming train wreck without it looking like he was “captain deserting the ship”. Then he can repent of his misconduct, and return to politics without being blamed for the state’s financial crisis. Clever, isn’t he?

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