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Paterson begins vetoes of New York state budget additions

By Jamie Guzzardo, CNN
  • New York governor says he'll veto 6,900 budget additions
  • Budget approved earlier by state legislature
  • "It breaks my heart to do this." Paterson says
  • Adds that additions would cause bigger problems

New York (CNN) -- New York Gov. David Paterson said Monday that he would veto 6,900 budget additions approved earlier in the day by the state legislature.

"I never take any joy in vetoing education money, health care, services for the poor ... it breaks my heart to do this." Paterson told reporters. "The only reason I'm doing it is because I think that otherwise we are proverbially kicking the can down the road and creating a greater problem."

Paterson signed the first line item veto at the news conference, vetoing $419 million of additional spending for school aid.

According to a news release on the New York State Assembly's website, the legislation passed Monday will allow the government to continue running and also it restored $600 million in education cuts, $49 million for tuition assistance, $56 million to community colleges and $92 million to adult homeless shelters.

"We could not, in good conscience, accept all of the cuts proposed by the (governor) and watch our strong public school system fall by the wayside," Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said in the news release. "Preparing young New Yorkers for entrance into the work force will ensure the steady revitalization of our economy. Our restoration of cuts to the Tuition Assistance Program and community colleges further emphasizes the Assembly Majority's continued commitment to education."

Paterson acknowledged that even if he vetoes all 6,900 of the budget additions, it would not bring the budget back into balance.

"If we lose the resources for Medicaid, if we lose any of the Medicaid money, our budget is not balanced," he said.

The governor said he was not casting his vetoes with the expectation of them being overturned, but rather that he was doing it because he believed it was the right thing for New York state and because he believed it would eventually bring the budget back into balance.

Paterson said he did not believe there would be any legal action as a result of the vetoes.