A federal judge Wednesday issued a temporary restraining order blocking New York Gov. David Paterson’s plan to save funds by furloughing state employees starting next week. Three unions sued Paterson after the Legislature Monday passed an emergency spending bill that included the furlough plan.

Paterson has said the furloughs were necessary to save money because state employee unions had not accepted concessions worth $250 million to help close the budget gap. The furloughing of about 100,000 employees one day next week would have saved the state an estimated $30 million.

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