Governor warns of 'perilous' times

State mandates require funding that the municipalities often do not have time to budget for, Runion said, citing retirement funds, storm water management and election costs as burdensome mandates.

"I don't think we're different from the other Capital Region municipalities I've spoken to," Runion said.

The state's only Independence Party assemblyman, Tim Gordon, I-Bethlehem, said he was happy with a number of initiatives mentioned by Paterson, such as the "45-by-15" clean energy program. The program would set a goal for the state to meet 45 percent of its energy consumption through renewable energy by 2015.

However, Gordon said, some proposed would have to be reviewed.

"While some spending cuts in even the most sensitive areas are clearly needed to deal with the multi-billion-dollar budget deficit, some of the governor's proposals are troubling," Gordon said. "We need to take a close look at the education funding cuts so we don't jeopardize our children's futures or shift property taxes that would increase the burden on working families."

The governor already released his proposed $121 billion budget five weeks before it was due, which is what governors traditionally discuss during the State of the State Address. Other points of the governor's address included a Healthy Food/Healthy Communities Initiative, along with a sugared soda tax; a commitment to complete infrastructure projects like the Tappan Zee Bridge; a higher education loan program; and the continuation of an Upstate Revitalization Fund.

Still, as thousands of state workers protested outside in the cold on the capitol steps, Paterson warned in his speech that lean times are ahead and the burden would have to be shared.

"The pillars of Wall Street are crumbling," he said of the financial institution that delivers one-fifth of New York's total revenue. "If we can't spend more, we have to spend more efficiently."

" Reporter Dan Sabbatino contributed to this report""

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