NEW YORK -- New York Gov. David Paterson unveiled Thursday emergency plans to cut $5 billion from the budget and save the state from default.
"New York was ground zero of this deficit that's being felt all over the country," said Paterson, a Democrat. "We are right up against the wall."
New York relies on Wall Street companies for 20 percent of its tax revenues, a base that has taken a huge hit over the last year.
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The $5 billion cuts from the $132 billion budget, including in education, health and other politically sensitive areas, would be made over the next two years, he said.
New York state is $3 billion in the red, he said.
"This is a very painful plan but we will share the burden. . . All of us are going to have to sacrifice to save our state," Paterson told a press conference in the state capital Albany, carried live on NY1 television.
Paterson, facing an uphill election battle to remain governor in 2010, said he would not allow New York to go bankrupt.
He noted that California has had to pay bills with IOU's, while Arizona was selling state assets, Michigan had 16 percent unemployment and had closed 90 percent of its libraries, and Ohio was "struggling for survival."
"Not on my watch am I going to allow the state go into default," Paterson said.
The budget cuts, which are subject to the State Assembly's approval, will avoid the need for new taxes, Paterson said.
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