ALBANY - (AP) - Gov. David Paterson is ordering 8,900 state workers be laid off after unions refused concessions amid a staggering economic downturn.

Budget Director Laura Anglin tells The Associated Press thatPaterson is calling for the first state layoffs since the late1990s after unions refused to even provide counter proposals. Thestate employs about 199,000 people.

The layoffs could begin July 1.

Anglin says unions have been informed, but could still try toreturn to the table in the coming days before a budget isnegotiated.

She says the layoffs will save nearly $500 million over twoyears. The state faces a $16 billion deficit this year.