New York Gov. David Paterson late Tuesday called for furloughing many state employees one day each week until the Legislature passes a fiscal 2011 budget. The state has been operating under emergency spending bills, without a budget in place, since the fiscal year began April 1.

A Paterson spokesman said the governor would submit the furlough legislation Wednesday.

The furloughs would affect roughly 100,000 employees, the spokesman said. The governor said furloughs are necessary because state employee unions did not accept concessions to help close the budget gap.

“I have sought to work with the state’s public employee unions in order to help achieve the savings needed to address our state’s historic budget deficit, but thus far they have been unwilling to do what is necessary,” Paterson said in a press release. “The state is facing fiscal and cash crises of unprecedented magnitude, and I am being forced to implement difficult actions such as this in order to put our state on the path to recovery.”

If enacted, the unpaid furloughs would begin May 10 and cover most state agency employees, with exceptions made for certain health care, law enforcement and management positions.

Paterson also called on lawmakers to take an up or down vote on his proposed $135.28 billion budget and to begin working five days a week, instead of the usual two to four days.

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