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Regional News

Gov. Paterson Says At Least $3 Billion Needed to Balance Budget

By Dave Bullard

Oswego, NY – Another week has come and gone and there is still no state budget.

It is more than three weeks late.

Gov. David Paterson said the state legislature needs to come up with at least $3 billion more in cutbacks or new revenues before the budget is balanced.

Paterson said he is open to any ideas, including new taxes or fees.

"I wouldn't rule out anything that the legislature would accept at this point, in terms of trying to close the gap," said Paterson. "I honestly think that we are over $2.5 billion apart, I honestly believe that. We may be $3 billion apart."

But the leader of the Republicans in the Senate said his members will not vote for higher taxes or fees.

Time is of the essence to approve a budget. The state's comptroller said New York may not be able to pay its bills starting next month if there is no budget in place. Gov. Paterson is delaying paying some bills until the state has a new budget.