On this first day of the fiscal year, Governor Paterson is asking New York State workers to forego a four percent salary increase, scheduled for today, to help close a nine billion dollar deficit. He's also urging New Yorkers to lobby their lawmakers to approve the now overdue state budget.
"We have run out of money, we can't meet our obligations and to continue to spend when we are in these dire circumstances is something no family would do, no company would do and certainly no government should be doing," the governor said, speaking on WOR.
Unions have answered with a resounding "no."
Meanwhile, New York has started the fiscal year without a budget. The Senate and Assembly have left Albany for a more than week-long holiday break. Governor David Paterson in a statement to T.V. and radio stations said the work legislators completed before their vacation was inadequate. And did not cut enough to close the state's $9 billion gap.
"None of us including the legislature will benefit from a budget that appears to substitute electioneer window dressing with real fiscal reform," Paterson says.
Paterson urged the public to contact their state representatives and to tell the lawmakers to make the tough cuts, as the governor says families have had to do all along.