NY Legislature votes to furlough state workers

ALBANY - (AP) - New York's Legislature has approvedunprecedented furloughs for state workers to contend with thestate's fiscal crisis.

Democratic Gov. David Paterson forced the vote on an emergencyspending bill that includes the one-day-a-week furloughs for about100,000 state workers, meant to save $30 million a week.

The Senate and Assembly majorities oppose furloughs and calledthe action illegal, but they had to vote for them because thefurloughs couldn't be separated from the spending bill. Rejectingthe measure would have shut down state government.

The workers' unions have so far refused requests by the Patersonadministration for lag pay and for suspending their raises for ayear to - as Paterson puts it - share in the sacrifice of all NewYorkers in the recession.

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