Gov. David Paterson told reporters today at the Bronx Community College graduation that he would abide by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Kahn’s ruling that the furlough of state workers his administration proposed are unconstitutional.
“We are a state and a country of laws and we will abide by the judge’s decision,” Paterson said. “But what I thought was interesting about the judge’s decision is that he did not go along with the public employees that tried tell the court there is no a financial crisis.”
The state must still come up with $250 million in cuts—the amount of money the furloughs were supposedly going to save—in order to plug the $9.2 billion deficit, Paterson said.
He also said it was up to lawmakers to develop some sort of plan. The Legislature begrudgingly approved the furlough plan after Paterson inserted the proposal in a budget extender bill, a measure required because the state’s spending plan is yet to be passed.
“It was hard for us to impose the furloughs if the Legislature isn’t with us,” Paterson said. “Since I’ve been fighting this problem with the public employees, let the legislature now figure out where to come up with the $250 million in workforce reductions that we need.”