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Regional News

State Legislature Back To Work

By Ryan Morden

Oswego, NY – The New York State Legislature is due back in Albany today after a nine-day break for the spring holidays.

Their first order of business will be to agree on a new state budget, which is now a week overdue.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli warns that lawmakers will have to do more than just approve a new spending plan if they hope to dig the state out of it's fiscal mess.

DiNapoli said lawmakers are just moving money around and not making necessary cuts.

"Legislative government is part of the agreement looking for money to use. 'Wow, there's money in the environmental fund, let's sweep that money out,' or what you see in this part of last year's budget process, a blanket sweep authority given to division of budget to go into accounts without real transparency or direction from the legislature," said DiNapoli.

Governor David Paterson said on the Capitol Pressroom that all DiNapoli does is point out the problem, but doesn't offer a way to fix it.

"He blames everybody, but he never has a solution and what we need right now are solutions. I think that this January, my solutions are right on the table," said Paterson.

Paterson's proposals include allowing wine sales in grocery stores, taxing sugary soft drinks, and implementing more cigarette taxes.

The governor warns that the state could run out of money in early June if no action is taken.