Paterson to lawmakers: Slash deficit, pass budget

Gov. David Paterson held another meeting with state legislators yesterday to demand action on the budget, now more than two months overdue.

Talking to House and Senate leaders, Paterson called the situation "an emergency" and implored them to take whatever action necessary to reduce the state's deficit, which could be as high as $10 billion.

For the past two months, short-term emergency spending bills have kept the state running on a weekly basis while lawmakers try to pass a budget.

"If we can continue to do this, maybe we'll have something passed in a month," Paterson said.

Earlier this week, legislators approved their 10th budget extender that included $775 million in health care cuts.

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