ALBANY, N.Y. (AP / 1010 WINS / WCBS 880) — New York Gov. David Paterson says he will send layoff notices to 898 state workers scheduled to lose their jobs by the end of the year.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

“I think that we are still in a recession in New York,” Paterson said. “New York lags, traditionally, 18-24 months behind the rest of the country. You can’t spend money that you don’t have.”

The announcement was immediately met with outrage from public worker unions that have promised they’ll sue to stop any cuts. The unions cite a legal memo signed by Paterson under a new pension plan agreement that guaranteed no layoffs before Dec. 31, the last day of Paterson’s term.

The layoffs represent less than 1 percent of the 130,000 state workers under the governor’s control. The layoffs include  150 in the Department of Environmental Conservation, 140 in transportation, 130 in parks, 90 in state police and 80 in motor vehicles.

“The lay off will still come on my watch,” Paterson said. “I did not want Attorney General Cuomo or Mr. Paladino to have to take a layoff plan that I imposed on them.”

The Democrat says Thursday the cuts are needed because union leaders have refused to make any concessions, including delaying 4 percent raises, to address the state’s deficit.

The state’s total work force is nearly 200,000.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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