Paterson is done with his vetoes

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Gov. David Paterson might be nursing a severe writer’s cramp this weekend.

Spokesman Morgan Hook said this afternoon that Paterson is done signing more than 6,900 vetoes.

Paterson began a marathon session on Thursday to complete the process of striking hundreds of millions of dollars from the $135.7 billion budget approved by the Legislature earlier this week. While Paterson made a big show of signing many of the statements — his office invited reporters to watch and then set up a live video feed on the Internet — Paterson most likely used an “autopen” for many of the signing statements.

The governor made good on the veto threat earlier this week when he struck $419 million in education aid from the budget at a news conference on Monday night. Also vetoed this week was about $193 million in legislative earmarks that had been approved in prior budget years, but was due to be re-appropriated.

Hook said the vetoes will be delivered to the Senate and Assembly so that they can formally take effect.  A full tally of what was vetoed from the budget will be available then, he said.

The governor issued the vetoes after lawmakers approved a series of spending bills this week in an attempt to complete the budget, but failed to put together a contingency plan in case the state loses up to $1 billion in Medicaid funding from the federal government.

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