Spitzer proposes $124 billion budget in hard times

Governor Spitzer said his state budget plan would close a more than $4 billion deficit while addressing declining growth in revenues caused by a sputtering economy in his budget address Tuesday.

Spitzer has released a spending proposal of more than $124 billion.

Spitzer plans to hold spending growth to about 5 percent, the lowest increase since the mid-1990s. He wants to enact a 2.5 percent cut in the growth of funding for state agencies, the State University of New York and the City University of New York.

And he's seeking to cut costs by closing facilities such as state prisons where the inmate population has decreased. Spitzer says he doesn't plan to cut the size of the state work force or propose a hiring freeze.

The budget is for the 2008-2009 state fiscal year that starts April 1.

AP wires contributed to this report.Related information:New York State Division of BudgetOfficial budget press release

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