Posted by: audreybenenati | March 23, 2010

Senate set to OK Gov. Paterson’s state budget

BY Kenneth Lovett

Monday, March 22nd 2010, 4:00 AM

ALBANY – The state Senate is preparing to pass a budget plan that includes nearly all of Gov. Paterson’s deep health and education cuts – but almost no new taxes or fees, Democratic sources said Sunday night.

The resolution, which could be approved as early as today, offers about $5 billion in cuts yet still increases state spending by $2 billion, the source said.

The soda tax pitched to help plug the state’s $9.2 billion deficit – and the new $1 a pack state tax on cigarettes – are not part of the Senate’s plan, the source said. Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch’s plan to borrow up to $6 billion over three years also isn’t included.

To raise revenue, the Senate instead proposes a $200 million increase in the amount of taxes collected on cigarettes sold by Indian tribes.

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