New York Gov. David Paterson ordered mass layoffs of state workers yesterday as new revenue projections showed the state’s budget deficit grew by $3.2 billion since the beginning of February to $16.2 billion for fiscal 2010. The layoffs of 8,900 workers will be first of their kind in the state since the late 1990s, state budget director Laura Anglin told the Associated Press. The state employs about 200,000 people.
The main cause of the increased deficit was a $2.8 billion drop in projected tax revenues due to job losses, falling wages, declining consumption and reduced profitability of businesses. The widening gap increases lawmakers' challenge to complete a budget by the April 1 beginning of the fiscal year.