NY Activity

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With an expected $3 billion (and likely growing) deficit, Governor Paterson announced $500 million in agency cuts. Additionally, the Governor’s Budget Director, Robert Megna, sent a letter to the four heads of the legislative finance staffs requesting that they have their budget-cutting proposals ready for an October 14th meeting. Megna stated that those proposals should have a goal of cutting $2.5 billion from the current budget. With the Governor intent on seeking reelection, he will be loathe to take all of the heat for the proposed cuts, so he is seeking to share the pain with the legislative leaders.

On Tuesday, October 13, A State Senate Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform will meet in Albany. The purpose of the meeting is to evaluate the need for and costs of New York State property tax exemptions. Christians should be paying attention to what sounds like a very droll subject, because it could have great impact on ministries across the State of New York.

In national news, Senator Gillibrand announced the first Congressional hearings on the repeal of the military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy will begin later this fall. The policy allows homosexuals to serve in the military as long as they keep their sexual orientation private. Senator Gillibrand is advocating that open homosexuals should also be allowed to serve in the military

The House of Representatives passed the "Hate Crimes" Bill on Thursday, October 8, as part of a Defense Appropriations Bill (HR 1913). Hate Crimes legislation now awaits action in the US Senate (S. 909) However, the differences between the two versions mandate that the matter go to conference committee for harmonization. The President is expected to sign this bill into law.

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