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David Paterson Says State Cannot Pay $2.1 Billion in School Aid

By Heather Grossmann | March 31, 2010 12:37pm | Updated on March 31, 2010 12:27pm
Gov. Paterson. March 22, 2010
Gov. Paterson. March 22, 2010
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Governor's Office

By Heather Grossmann

DNAinfo News Editor

MANHATTAN — The absence of a balanced budget for fiscal year 2010-2011 as Thursday’s deadline looms led Gov. David Paterson to put a halt to billions in school aide and hundreds of statewide construction projects on Tuesday.

The state is facing a $9 billion deficit, prompting Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch to suggest that the state borrow money to stave off fiscal disaster.

The Assembly and Senate have been unable to come to an agreement on the budget, forcing the legislature to pass an emergency “extender bill” on Monday to keep the government running until a budget is signed off on.

Payments totaling $2.1 billion in school aide due Wednesday will be made “at a later date," the governor said.

"The fact that extraordinary cash-management actions such as these are necessary underscores the dire nature of our State's fiscal circumstances,” Paterson said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, the spending plans that the Senate and Assembly have put forward did not include enough cuts to move us toward the goal of a fiscally responsible and sustainable State budget.”

Around 500 construction projects throughout the state will be temporarily stopped, including the $407-million Alexander Hamilton Bridge project, which will renovate the bridge stretching across the Harlem River and the ramps connecting parts of Manhattan and the Bronx.