Albany, NY – New York Governor David Paterson said his next emergency spending bill will furlough 100,000 state workers for one day a week to help keep the government operating in the absence of a budget.
The furloughs, which would save about $30 million a week, come after the Democratic governor’s decision to withhold a 4 percent pay increase from about 130,000 state employees since April 1. Both measures are intended to reduce outlays while New York lawmakers debate a $9.2 billion deficit for the year that began April 1.
“I have decided I will include the furloughs in the next week’s emergency appropriations,” Paterson, 55, said at a press conference today in Albany, the capital. “Collective sacrifice is preferable to individual layoffs.”
The governor of the third-largest state by population said public employee unions brought on the furloughs by spurning other measures that would save $250 million. As long as the state lacks a budget, the unions’ contracts aren’t binding, Paterson has said. The unions have said they’ll go to court.
Leaders of the Senate and the Assembly, both Democrats, disagree on a plan to close the budget gap, leaving Paterson to propose weekly spending bills that lawmakers can’t amend or replace with their own. Neither chamber’s spending plan called for spending cuts as large as the $6.1 billion Paterson has proposed.