Gov. Paterson Vetoes 6,681 State Budget Items


david-patersonNY Gov. David Paterson’s administration has given New York lawmakers three stacks of paper comprising 6,681 budget items he vetoed last week, saying the state can’t afford the extra spending.

The biggest rejections are $419 million in aid to public schools and $91 million for higher education, mainly tuition assistance and community college funding. He also rejected $190 million in pork barrel grants that rolled over from last year.

Spokesman Morgan Hook says Wednesday that Paterson isn’t negotiating on vetoed items.

The governor and legislative leaders remain at an impasse over a revenue bill, the remaining piece of this year’s budget. Until that’s finished, lawmakers aren’t getting paid.

Paterson said on June 29 that after his vetoes were complete, legislative leaders will have to come to him with solid counter proposals for his policy goals that lawmakers rejected in the budget. Those goals include a local property tax cap, a contingency fund in case $1 billion in Medicaid funding is lost, and an empowerment plan to allow public universities to set their own tuition.

State lawmakers continually express frustration with the state’s current financial situation. “This entire scenario for the last three months has been unconscionable, disgraceful,” said Sen. Frank Padavan, R-Queens.

{CBS/Noam Newscenter}