NY Legislature mounts push to finish budget

ALBANY - (AP) - After weeks of stalled talks, theLegislature says it's making a concerted push starting this week tocraft a state budget as Gov. David Paterson continues to useemergency spending measures to enact permanent spending cuts.

Assembly Majority Leader Ronald Canestrari says Monday's emergency spending bill containing health care cutsaccounts for 40 percent of state spending alone. He says it's notideal, but the big push is needed now and painful cuts will beagreed to beginning this week.

He says even the Assembly Democrats' proposed restoration ofmuch of Paterson's 5 percent cut to school aid could be lost inpart.

A final deal on a budget could still be a few weeks away. It wasdue April 1.

Paterson met privately with leaders Monday.

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