Paterson tries reviving budget talks

(AP) - Gov. David Paterson held the first public budget meeting in months as private budget talks have stalled.

Paterson said he may force lawmakers to skip their state political conventions to craft and pass a state budget that's now 48 days overdue.

Paterson says he may also continue to operate the state on weekly bare-bones spending measures throughout the year if necessary. The emergency bills authorizing that spending put lawmakers in a bind because the law requires them to accept what the governor sends them or shut down government.

The Democratic governor also asked legislative leaders to start conference committees. That would involve rank-and-file lawmakers in public meetings to hash out the budget rather than just leaders in closed-door meetings.

The state faces a $9 billion deficit.

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