Senate passing budget-cutting bill

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   The Senate is in session now, debating the agreed-upon $411 million in state budget cuts (about two-thirds of what Gov. David Paterson proposed). The Assembly passed the legislation last night. Paterson and legislative leaders are speaking to the media this hour. The governor called this week’s special session because of the state’s looming fiscal crisis.

   Sen Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, said during the debate she would vote for the cuts, but with a heavy heart. The legislation will cut emergency food programs in a time of crisis, AIDS assistance and higher-education funding. Some programs may have to close their doors as a result of the reductions, she said.

   Sen. Stephen Saland, R-Poughkeepsie, said reductions are needed to deal with the budget crisis. He commended the governor for his leadership in the matter.

   Some of the local programs affected by cuts include:

   — $63,000, Westchester policing

   — $39,000, transit local assistance, Westchester (governor proposed $26,000)

   — $30,000, Putnam Hospital Center (governor proposed $250,000)

   — $9,000 from the Nyack Hospital Foundation (governor proposed $75,000)

   — $7,000 from Westchester Regional Medical Centers (governor proposed $55,000)

   — $6,000 from the Mental Health Association — Rockland (governor proposed $50,000)

   — $3,000, Rockland Association of Learning Disabled (Paterson proposed $25,000)

  — $2,000, Putnam County Sheriff (governor proposed $13,000)

   The Westchester Putnam Workers Training Program did not get a funding reduction, although it had been in line to lose $2,000.

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