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Senate budget would close Moriah Shock, de-fund ORDA

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson said the cuts aren't based on party affiliation or region.

"But know that this in the best interest of the state and cut we must," she said. "We've tried to do in it in a manner that is both safe and judicious."

ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin said it is too early in the process to assess the potential impacts of the cuts.

"It's only a proposal," Lundin said. "We will watch it closely."

The Senate Majority proposes restoring $79 million to the state Environmental Protection Fund, the lion's share of which would be spent on state land acquisitions, and an additional $290 million in senior citizen STAR exemptions.

It also restores $6 million to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for the continued operation of numerous parks and historic sites slated for closure.

The senate budget rejects most of the governor's proposed fee and tax hikes, including $465 million in estimated revenues from a tax on sugary drinks and $210 million in additional cigarette taxes.

But it preserves $1.4 billion in school aid and $1 billion in health care cuts in Paterson's original budget.

On Monday, Senators voted 32 to 29 along party lines to move the preliminary 2010-2011 Legislative Budget into conference committee negotiations.

By state law, the final budget is to be adopted by April 1.

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