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McHugh a skeptic on stimulus bill

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Gov. David Paterson counts 1900 construction projects ready for the federal stimulus money. Congressman John McHugh said yesterday it isn't clear how far it will go. Martha Foley has more.

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Martha Foley
News and Public Affairs Director

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Speaking yesterday afternoon, North Country Congressman John McHugh wasn't encouraging about the amount of money for state and local "shovel ready" projects,  "I'm sure the state of NY has a lot of projects that they'd like to get funding for from sources other than their  state budget," he said. "But as we have been told, as bad as I thought the house bill was in its original version, capital construction dollars in the agreed upon version of that have actually been cut back further still."

McHugh said the Republican minority has been kept out of the conferences on the package. He said  he hasn't seen "a single line of the bill," and he was noncommittal. "I have to look at it as a one  trillion-dollar plus bill and measure as best I can without any information whatsoever what is good and bad and what the final vote will be." 

Senator Charles Schumer says the national stimulus package will send $12.65 billion in extra Medicaid funding to New York over two years, while creating or saving as many as 215,000 jobs in the state. Governor Paterson says the money will help ease New York's fiscal crisis, but spending cuts are still needed.

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