New York lawmakers are due back in Albany on Wednesday following a Passover and Easter break, and Gov. David Paterson is challenging legislators to come up with budget solutions quickly. The state budget was due April 1.
Paterson says the Assembly and Senate must come up with alternatives to his proposal for raising taxes on cigarettes and putting new taxes on sugary drinks.
"If the legislature does not want to do that, then they've got to fill a $1.2 billion hole in my plan because that is what would balance the budget," the governor said, speaking on WCBS Radio.
Paterson also defended his decision to delay paying hundreds of millions of dollars in local education aid because of the state's cash flow problems. He says the move is helping the state's fiscal outlook.
Local school boards have complained that the governor's decision to hold back more than $2 billion puts them in a tailspin, forcing them to either borrow money or make major cuts.