As Governor David Paterson pushes the state Legislature to act on the state budget, state and city unions took the matter into their own hands today.
Scores of protesters gathered in front of City Hall to object state budget cuts. Unions and community groups participated in the "Save Our City" rally to defend fire houses, libraries, senior centers, classrooms, and other programs that are under threat.
Ninety nine unions representing 300,000 New York City employees and members hope their efforts encourage Mayor Bloomberg and other leaders to stand up and protect New Yorks essential programs.
As the rally continued, Governor Paterson gave New York’s Legislature a deadline of June 28 for adopting a state budget. If lawmakers don’t adopt a budget by the given date, Governor Paterson plans on inserting remaining spending and revenue items in upcoming emergency spending bills. Paterson has also declared he will veto any budget that would require borrowing.
Lawmakers have the choice of approving emergency spending bills or shutting down particular services that include state workers.
The protest comes a day after the state averted an unprecedented shutdown of state government, though the state budget is now 77 days overdue.