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Paterson: Hard Times To Get Worse For N.Y. Deficit

Gov. David Paterson (Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Gov. David Paterson (Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s hard times just got harder.

The Paterson administration says closing the latest deficit may require cuts of perhaps 1 percent in every area including a midyear cut in school aid.

Budget Director Robert Megna says the $315 million shortfall in the current budget must be addressed by Dec. 31. That’s when Paterson’s term ends and Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, takes office.

In January, the state Senate may also be in Republican hands pending a recount of votes from Tuesday.

The state fiscal year ends March 31. The 2011-12 fiscal year is now projected to have a $9 billion deficit.

Megna says one reason for the latest deficit is that the poor economy has driven 4.9 million New Yorkers into the Medicaid health care system, compared to 4.2 million in 2007.

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