Paterson Threatens Layoffs Again

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Gov. David Paterson indicated this morning he will move up a deadline to begin the layoff of state workers because unions have failed to negotiate a way to cut $250 million from the state budget.

Paterson said last month the layoff plan would be developed for Jan. 1, but now he says it will be sooner. It’s unclear how many workers would be affected if the plan went through.

The Democratic governor has been battling unions over how to cut the $250 million for workforce reductions, but the unions have resisted Paterson’s attempts to impose furloughs or a pay lag.

“I think the planning for layoffs is going to have to begin immediately,” Paterson said, adding no date has been set.

Paterson, after throwing out the first pitch at a tee-ball game near the governor’s mansion (left), said he will call lawmakers back to Albany on Wednesday and Thursday, but said he hasn’t made any plans to call them back every day after that until a budget deal is reached.

He said that whether he’ll call daily special sessions after that will depend on whether “they’ve awakened to the grave problems of New York’s finances.”

He was asked whether he support embattled U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-Harlem, a close friend of him and his father, Basil, and the governor said he did. Rangel has been an outspoken supporter of the governor, even when Paterson himself earlier this year was in the middle of his own series of scandals which have yet to be resolved.

“I support Congressman Rangel 100 percent,” Paterson said. “I support him in his re-election bid.
Obviously, there are charges that he has to face. And I think the resolution of that is something that we don’t know until the future and until that time, it has been my honor to watch him for 40 years. I was 16 when he first got elected, and I think that he has served not just Harlem and Washington Heights and the upper West Side well, but all of America well and I wish him well and hope for the best.”

Asked about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s comments that the MTV show the “Jersey Shore” makes New Jersey look bad and that the show’s stars are from New York, Paterson responded, “Maybe they are better when they’re in New York than in New Jersey.”

He said he hasn’t watched the show, but said Christie, who Paterson called a friend, may have some extra time on his hands now that New Jersey passed a property-tax cap and New York hasn’t.

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  1. Athlete's Foot on

    Hey, he’s pitching it toward left field. Must be Shel Silver out there, way, way out in left field.