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No wine in grocery stores - unless the lej steps in

via Flickr
Liquor stores are toasting the governor's decision to leave a wine-in-grocery stores provision out of the budget.

Now that the governor has presented his budget, it's everyone else's chance to weigh in with their suggestions.  The Times Union's Jimmy Vielkind reports that while the governor isn't looking to bring wine into grocery stores to boost state revenue, legislators still are:

"I think it's high time we had this conversation," said Assemblyman Joe Morelle, D-Rochester. "It certainly is not an insignificant amount of money, so as people are potentially looking for ways to grow us out of this and meet some of the human service needs we have to meet, it's a way to do it without raising taxes." A coalition of grocers and big wineries, with the sunny name New Yorkers for Economic Growth and Open Markets, said "hundreds of millions" could be raised quickly this year by selling licenses to grocery stores. As well, an increase in wine says would bring in additional sales tax. Paterson proposed the idea in the 2010-11 budget, projecting it would generate $93 million.

Defending cuts
Gannett's Nick Reisman reports on the governor's first volleys in what will inevitably be a row with state unions over cuts to Medicaid and the state workforce:

In anticipating blowback from the cuts, Cuomo is undertaking a statewide tour promoting the agenda. Cuomo will appear at Manhattanville College in Purchase, Westchester County, on Thursday to give his budget presentation. And he released a video Wednesday making his case for an overall restructuring in how the state spends money on programs that are required by law to increase each year. "It will shake up the Albany establishment," Cuomo said in the video of his budget. "But that is exactly what we must do."

Meanwhile, Patti Singer at the Democrat and Chronicle reports that health providers are trying to wrap their minds around the governor's proposed cuts:

We're not going to shut our doors down," said Len Shute, chief financial officer for Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals. "We're not pushing any panic buttons until we know what the proposals are." But he's not ignoring reality. "It has to change the way hospital and health care services are delivered," he said, echoing other health executives.

Reaction round-up
The Messenger Post has more reactions from legislators and business leaders, to the governor's budget proposal, including video.
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