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All budget, all the time

   A three-fer on New York state budget woes today in the Buffalo News Opinion section:

- Next step, layoffs - Buffalo News Editorial
   State public employee unions won a restraining order halting day-a-week furloughs, and legal experts sayUnions they have a strong case when the legality of that concept is weighed against existing state worker contracts in court. So the jobs stay, for now. But so do the costs. ...
   In many unions, the rank and file would take a cut in wages rather than see their brothers and sisters laid off. There seems no such selflessness in the state's public employee unions.

- Pass education policy changes - Buffalo News Editorial
   The “race to the top” for federal education aid and toward a desperately needed $700 million may get going in New York State, if the Legislature passes a new deal.
   It should be an easy one, considering state education officials and major teachers unions agree on a key component that will add points to the system set up by the Obama administration as it set goals for the competitive “Race to the Top” grant system. There ought to be enough political coverage to go around.

- Teachers union supports raising charter cap - Mike Deely/New York State United Teachers
   The statewide Charter Schools Association leaders and many state legislators are acting in concert in a campaign of lies and misinformation. Their goal is to create the false impression that NYSUT doesn’t care about teachers or kids.

  Else-web:
- Theater of the Absurd - Syracuse Post-Standard
   We’ve finally figured it out. Our elected officials in Albany have evolved beyond simply being venal, corrupt, self-serving and incompetent. They have elevated themselves to the level of artists, striving to create the perfect parody of a well-run government. And they are nearing perfection.
- Jobs for Albany’s Do-Nothings - New York Times
   Union Leaders: They may think they got a big win this week when a court rejected Mr. Paterson’s proposal to furlough state workers one day every week to save about $30 million. But, if this drags on much longer, Governor Paterson will have no choice but to start laying off people. It is time for the unions to stop waving around lawsuits and start negotiating seriously.  
- Districts, voters have tasks cut out for them -  Poughkeepsie Journal
- Pay hike proposal undermines efforts - Glens Falls Post-Star
- Legislature won't fix the budget and won't let Paterson do it - New York Daily News

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

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