Paterson, lawmakers agree they want parks open

By By The Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Lawmakers rebuffed Gov. David Paterson's plan for keeping all 178 state parks open for Memorial Day weekend, but both sides say the parks remain important and they've agreed to look this week for spending cuts in other programs.

Paterson insists the $5 million needed for operating expenses must come from someplace else in the budget or he'll go ahead with closing and cutting services at about 60 parks.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Democratic leader Sen. John Sampson say preserving parks is a priority. They've already identified more than $5 billion overall in budget cuts, and will try finding more. Paterson said Tuesday that lawmakers need to knock another $2.5 billion out of this year's $130 billion budget, which is nearly two months late.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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