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Gov. Paterson Announces Delayed Payments to Schools, Local Governments

Governor David A. Paterson announced Sunday that 10% of state aid payments will be delayed, directly affecting local governments, schools, hospitals and non-profits.

Paterson said the move was necessary because the state coffers are currently $1 billion below the amount needed to fund this month's local assistance grants.

There is a total of $11.7 billion due this month slotted go to school aid and municipality revenue sharing, with one of the largest payments due Tuesday.

The governor said the move was necessary after an extended session with lawmakers earlier this year did not yield a solution to the year's overall deficit of $3.2 billion.

Sunday's announcement did not come as a surprise to the New York State United Teachers union, school boards and others, who are planning to file a lawsuit challenging the payment cuts.

"They can sue all they want but I'm not going to let this state run out of money," Paterson told WBEN radio in Buffalo. "The reason we can legally do this is because we have no money."

In order to protect the constitutional rights of the entities involved, Paterson says the 10% cuts in payments will be evenly applied across the board.

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