Paterson Asks Congress for State Rescue Package

New York's governor is asking the federeal government to be a "partner"

New York's David Paterson is seeking "direct and immediate" aid from Congress amid the state’s projected multi-billion dollar budget shortfall.

Paterson, in written testimony for a hearing Wednesday before the House Ways and Means Committee, asked Congress to include aid for state budgets as part of any new stimulus package. Lawmakers are considering an economic stimulus package that could be voted on after the Nov. 4 election.

The package would be similar to a rescue package the federal government approved for the banking industry.

"Just like the financial services industry, we need a partner in the federal government in order to help stave off an impending financial calamity and stabilize our fiscal condition," Paterson, a Democrat, said in his written remarks.

 Paterson said Tuesday New York is facing a $47 billion deficit by 2012.

Twenty-nine states closed budget gaps totaling $48 billion for the 2009 budget year, and the projected shortfall for the following year is $100 billion, said Paterson.

Paterson is seeking relief in a number of areas, including higher Medicaid payments to states, greater unemployment benefits, and a boost in food stamp benefits.

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