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Lawmakers return to budget talks

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Environmental groups are sending a giant beaver to the Capitol today to protest raids on the Environmental Protection Fund.
The man-sized rodent will focus on the halls outside the Assembly chamber. The Senate has proposed an EPF of $22 million. Gov. Paterson proposed $143 million, and the Assembly in in his ballpark, at $168 million.
The EPF is funded largely through a dedicated tax on real estate sales and is supposed to be used for a broad range of environmental programs.
Lawmakers are due in Albany today too. Tops on the agenda is the budget, including EPF cuts, but also potentially deep cuts in other spending areas as well, and structural weaknesses detailed by the state comptroller this week. Karen DeWitt reports.

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Reported by

Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent

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