Paterson orders $500M NY agency budget cut

Gov. David Paterson announced a $500 million cut in non-personnel spending by state agencies Tuesday to help combat the estimated $2.1 billion deficit.

The reduction will come from the nonessential service budget, which covers travel expenses, vehicle leases, consultant fees and other agency spending, and will not affect salaries.

Paterson can make these cuts in the executive branch without Legislature approval, but he will need support to make deeper cuts in programs. Last year, he cut agency budgets and saved about $1 billion during the fiscal crisis.

AP wire reports contributed to this article.

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