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Legislative resolve faces Aug. 19 showdown

   That New York is facing a budget problem is hardly a secret.

   When lawmakers voted for the 2008 state budget in April, they did so knowing the state was already facing a $5 billion deficit in 2009. And a sizable portion of that deficit was caused by spending promises they made now for next year.

   That the deficit has only grown since then -- as Gov. David A. Paterson revealed Tuesday -- should be even of less surprise to lawmakers.

   Now, Paterson is shaming the Legislature back to Albany to act during a special session on Aug. 19.

   Over the past week, the governor has said legislators don't get what New Yorkers already know -- that the state's economy is in real trouble.

   Talk of coming back to Albany  just a couple months before election day does not sit well with lawmakers.

   Will anything real happen on Aug. 19?

   That depends, many Albany insiders would say, on the definition of "real."

-- Tom Precious

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