DIVISION OF THE BUDGET
DAVID A. PATERSON, GOVERNOR
August 20, 2008 CONTACT: Jeffrey Gordon
GOVERNOR PATERSON ISSUES AGENCY SAVINGS TARGETS TO ACHIEVE $630 MILLION IN SPENDING REDUCTIONS AND PREVENT CURRENT-YEAR SHORTFALL
Says Actions Will Protect State's Fiscal Integrity in Difficult Economic Times
Governor David A. Paterson today issued specific state executive agency savings targets to reduce budget spending by $630 million during the current fiscal year. The Governor called for this reduction on July 30 as part of his plan to close a potential 2008-09 budget shortfall caused by a struggling economy and plummeting revenues.
“These savings are an essential part of getting New York's fiscal house in order,” Governor Paterson said. “With the state facing growing fiscal challenges, I have directed each commissioner to sharply focus their operations on their agency's core mission. Especially in the current economic environment, we have a responsibility to the taxpayers to carefully scrutinize every dollar we spend.”
As his first act in office, Governor Paterson proposed a $500 million reduction in 2008-09 agency spending (3.35 percent), which was implemented in the Enacted Budget. On July 30, he also ordered an additional $630 million reduction (7 percent) in 2008-09 executive agency spending, a hard state government hiring freeze, and the convening of a special emergency economic session of the Legislature. During that special session, the Assembly and Senate enacted a two-year, $1.0 billion savings plan ($427 million in 2008-09 savings, over $600 million in 2009-10 savings).
In total, since taking office, Governor Paterson has worked with the legislature to achieve 2008-09 savings of $1.5 billion – $427 million in legislative actions and a $1.1 billion (10 percent) administrative state agency reduction.
In 2009-10, the state faces a $5.4 billion budget deficit. Over the next three years, the state must close a projected, cumulative budget gap of $24.4 billion.