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Regional News

Skelos Calls $136 Billion Spending Plan a Gimmick

By Ryan Morden

Oswego, NY – The New York Senate has voted for a $136 billion spending plan that democratic leaders say would soften some budget cuts proposed by Gov. David Paterson.

Sen. John Sampson, leader of the Senate Democrats, calls the 51-page document a road map that would reject new taxes and keep state spending increases below inflation.

Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos disagrees.

"This is just a sham and a gimmick," said Skelos, "Totally unbalanced, increases spending, increases debt and does absolutely nothing to restructure the budget of the state of New York and how we move forward."

The proposal maintains college tuition assistant grants, closes three prisons, cuts Medicaid spending and keeps state parks and historic sites open.

Assembly leaders are also expected to release their plan this week.