Governor David Paterson called an unusual joint session of the Legislature Monday to implore recalcitrant lawmakers to close the state's huge budget gap before New York runs out of money.
To some lawmakers it's nothing more than a photo op to help Paterson get re-elected. But the governor is dead serious. He said if the Legislature doesn't cut the budget now the state could run out of money by next month.
"We're going to run out of cash in four and a half weeks. We are going to run out of money. Unless we do something about it, (it will) threaten generations," Paterson said.
And so began what is turning out to be a tense tug of war between Gov. Paterson and the Legislature.
The governor says $3.2 billion in cuts must be enacted how -- or else. The cuts range from $500 million in agency spending to over $1 billion in already committed in aid to school districts and hospitals.