State worker union turns down no-layoff deal, Paterson pushes for same-sex marriage bill, Hearst cancels guild contract at TU, rescued animals pack humane society shelter

CSEA says it has rejected a deal offered by the Paterson administration in which state workers would give up this year's scheduled three percent raise in return for a no-layoffs guarantee. Liz Benjamin reports there may be a "pay lag" agreement coming together behind the scenes, though. Also: as promised, David Paterson has sent 10 percent of his salary ($18k) back to the state. [AP/TU] [Daily Politics] [TU]

David Paterson said yesterday he thinks the public will accept same-sex marriage and he wants to see a same-sex marriage bill come up for a vote in the state Senate -- whether it's guaranteed to pass or not. That call didn't go over all that well with same-sex marriage advocates. [NYT] [Daily Politics]

The state budget has lead to cuts in open hours at state parks this season. The local regional state park director calls the cutbacks "fairly unprecedented." Among the local consequences: the Peerless Pool will be closed on Tuesdays (the day it gets the smallest number of visitors, according to officials) and the beach at Grafton Lakes will be closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays. [TU] [Troy Record] [Saratogian] [Post-Star] [Daily Gazette]

As of this morning, the New York State Board of Elections was reporting that Scott Murphy had an eight vote lead over Jim Tedisco in the 20th Congressional District special election. The count of absentee ballots will continue today. The NY 20th may be missing out on federal stimulus money because it doesn't have a House member right now. [NYSBoE] [AP/TU]

More than 200 people have come off the state Senate payroll -- and others have taken paycuts -- as Democrats have taken over he majority machinery of the legislative body. [TU]

Former state senator, assemblyman and Albany County executive Michael Hoblock -- a Republican -- is apparently looking to challenge Colonie supervisor Paula Mahan, a Democrat, in this year's election. [TU]

Hearst Corp, the parent company of the Times Union, has canceled its contract with the Albany Newspaper Guild. Said guild president Tim O'Brien in a post on the guild's blog: "The Company is hellbent on wanting to lay off employees regardless of how loyally they have served and to outsource jobs out of the Capital Region." In a letter posted on the TU's site, publisher George Hearst said "... we currently have no ability to consider the business needs of the Times Union or the talents of our employees." After the contract was cancelled yesterday, guild members protested outside the TU building in Colonie. [TU] [ANG] [TU] [Fox23]

A call center is shutting down in Latham -- 72 people will lose their jobs. [TU]

The Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society removed 69 dogs and cats from an unlicensed breeder in Rensselaer County yesterday. The org's shelter is now packed and is looking for people to adopt the animals. [Troy Record] [TU]

Saratoga's "biggest secret garden" is on the backside of the harness track. [Daily Gazette]

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