New York's Legislature has approved an emergency spending bill that includes one-day-a-week furloughs for 100,000 state workers.
Staten Island Senator Diane Savino criticised the decision, telling her colleagues Governor David Paterson didn't have the right to add furloughs to the measure.
"We need to do everything we can to call upon the governor to send us a new bill," Senator Savino said. "Eliminating the illegal actions, and send him a clear message that we will not be party to his illegal activity."
But legislators opted to pass the bill, rather than risk shutting down state government.
On Monday, state workers protested outside the State House, and in New York City, and their unions have vowed to sue. The furloughs would go into effect next week. They are meant to save the state $30 million a week.
Paterson says he was forced to turn to furloughs because unions refused other concessions, including a suspension of their four-percent pay raises.