Huffpost New York

Paterson's Budget Plan Would Legalize MMA, Close Four Prisons

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Here are selected highlights from Gov. David Paterson's budget plan for the coming fiscal year.

_ An ongoing hiring freeze with the state work force expected to decrease by 675 to 195,700.

_ Closing four prisons. With inmate population expected to drop by 1,100 this year and 1,000 next year to 57,600, close Lyon Mountain in Clinton County and Butler in Wayne County, both minimum security prisons, in January 2011, followed in April 2011 by Moriah shock facility in Essex County and Ogdensburg medium security prison in St. Lawrence County.

_ No state police training class. With New York's crime rate down 28 percent in a decade, no recruits for the second straight year, with an estimated two-year loss of 269 positions through attrition by April 2011 from a high of some 4,900 officers.

_ A moratorium on state purchases of forest preserve land and open space.

_ Allowing grocery stores to pay a franchise fee to sell wine.

_ Allowing the state and city universities to set their own regular tuition increases without legislative approval. Increases could vary by campus.

_ Limiting growth in Medicaid spending to $51.5 billion, up 1.8 percent.

_ Eliminating a restriction on daily operating hours for the Lottery's Quick Draw game and video lottery terminals.

_ Legalizing mixed martial arts in New York.

_ Deploying speed enforcement cameras in 40 highway work zones and 10 other locations considered dangerous.

_ Allowing same-sex couples married in other jurisdictions to file joint state tax returns with spousal exemptions.


Source: New York Budget Division