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In Albany, bracing for a $1 billion no show

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Senate Democrats released bills to address two major concerns of Governor David Paterson. As Karen DeWitt reports, lawmakers say they might approve them as early as Wednesday.

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Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent

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The senate bills provide a contingency plan in case $1 billion in federal Medicaid moneys do not materialize. The plan differs from one by Governor David Paterson. It gives the legislature more power to decide where in the state budget the additional dollars come from. The other bill allows SUNY and CUNY more freedoms, including the ability for individual campuses to raise their own tuition. Senate spokesman Austin Shafran could not say whether the state assembly is on board with the plans. "The senate introduced this bill as a starting point. We're going to continue to negotiate with the assembly and with the executor," he said.

The senate has not yet completed the state budget. They left earlier this month without working on a revenue bill. Senate aids could not say for sure whether the budget will be finished on Wednesday or when the other two bills will be voted on.

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