State lawmakers, governor agree on budget cuts
State lawmakers have agreed to cut hundredsof millions of dollars in the current state budget, with overallspending to be slashed by nearly $2 billion over the nexttwo fiscal years. The Democrat-controlled Assembly worked well past midnight toapprove most of the budget cuts sought by Governor Paterson when hecalled for yesterday's special session of the Legislature. The Senate is expected to return this morning to give finallegislative approval to the deal reached late last night. An official close to the negotiations tells The Associated Pressthat lawmakers agreed to cut $426 million from the currentbudget. The official -- speaking on condition of anonymity -- says thecuts over two years will be $1.7 billion. Paterson called the special session to deal with loomingdeficits projected in the billions of dollars.