ALBANY - (AP) - New York Gov. David Paterson says he'sputting together a plan that would lay off thousands of stategovernment workers at the beginning of next year to help balancethe state budget.

Paterson says Tuesday he'll direct state agencies to beginpicking positions that could be eliminated starting Jan. 1, 2011.

That date marks the expiration of the no-layoffs pledge Patersongave public employee unions last year in exchange for an agreementto reduce pension costs. It would also be the day he leaves office.A final decision on layoffs would fall to his successor.

State leaders are facing a $9.2 billion deficit and stillhaven't completed a budget for the fiscal year that began April 1.

Paterson has been calling for concessions from the unions. Helost a court battle last week over cost cutting that includedfurloughs.