Paterson says worst is yet to come, Stratton flouts residency rule for city employees, a "piddling" amount of money for butterflies, a long trip home

In his "live at five" speech yesterday, David Paterson reported that the state is now facing a $6.4 billion budget deficit -- that's up about $1.4 billion from previous estimates. The Gov also said things will get worse before they get better. So, what to do about it? Paterson didn't offer many specifics, but he did mention cutting spending at state agencies and reducing the state workforce. There are already reports that thousands of state jobs could be cut. Paterson also announced he's calling the legislature back into session on August 19 to focus on the problem. [TU] [NYT] [NYDN]

The EPA has announced that it will not pay for an alternative drinking water source for Stillwater and other communities worried about PCB levels during the upcoming Big Dredge -- or, at least, it won't as long as levels stay within established limits. Either way, the mayor of Stillwater says his town won't be drinking the water. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Schenectady City Council is annoyed that Brian Stratton is apparently ignoring the city's residency law for city employees. The mayor says he's just trying to hire the best people available. The council's in a tough spot here because the person in charge of carrying out city law is... the mayor. [Daily Gazette]

Albany County is looking to fire the contractor it hired to renovate the county courthouse. The project, which is two-and-a-half-years-old, is already two years behind schedule. [TU]

A fight over the Karner Blue butterfly is continuing to hold a hotel project near Crossgates Mall. The developer has agreed to pay as much as $382,000 over 50 years to help protect the butterflies, but a Save the Pine Bush advocate says that's a "piddling" amount of money. [TU]

What does it take to get a lost dog from Albany back from Montana? About $400, a good travel agent, and a lot of patience. [AP/Daily Gazette]

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