Having proposed $3 to $5 billion in state budget cuts, Governor Paterson yesterday announced he would call the state legislature into special session on November 10 to see that they are implemented. He’ll also meet with its leaders this week.
Paterson’s proposed cuts have already caused complaints. Student groups denounce his proposed educational defunding. The New York Times chastises Paterson for throwing the state’s $90 million environmental fund into the yawning budget gap, asking that he “not to make this a habit.” And critics question his deferral of payments to the state pension fund, which means the government with forfeit its customary discount for early payment, but seems meant to show that the state is serious about not borrowing on or selling notes to keep the state solvent…
Paterson gets some backhand-positive spin from rightwing columnist Reihan Salam, who in slamming Florida Governor Charlie Crist says “Incredibly, fiscal conservatives have more to admire in the much-maligned Democratic governors of New Jersey and New York, Jon Corzine and David Paterson, who’ve done far more to cut popular spending programs than Crist.”
Among state voters, Paterson remains unpopular, but the Rochester Business Journal points out, “Paterson’s poll numbers look really bad — until you compare them to the job-performance rating voters give the state Legislature.” It may be that, by publicly calling them on the carpet, Paterson hopes to exploit that relative advantage.