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Cuomo unveils 2011 executive budget

Overall, the plan reduces the state budget by 2.7 percent. Cuomo says the budget addresses New York's massive deficit and targets projected deficits in future years.

Cuomo says that for too long, the state spent more than it made.

"Over the past 10 years we've had a spending average of 5.7 percent while only bringing in 3.8 percent in tax receipts," he said. "We were spending more money than we were making as a state. We were spending more money than we were making as people."

So far, Cuomo has received both praise and criticism for his budget. Environmental officials hailed him for holding the line on the Environmental Protection Fund.

Meanwhile, business leaders say the budget will end overspending that has forced jobs from the state.

Health care officials say his plan to cut some $1 billion from Medicaid is too much and could devastate hospitals.

State Senator Betty Little said Cuomo's approach to the budget is something New Yorkers haven't seen for years.

"This is a clarion call for government to be something it is not

typically: innovative," she said.

"Government is notoriously inflexible but now is the time to think creatively about ways to operate more efficiently, eliminate waste and redundancy wherever possible and ensure that state resources are used in the best way possible."

Cuomo called upon legislators to pass at least two bills in the coming months. For starters, he wants broad ethics reform.

Secondly, he wants lawmakers to pass his budget in a timely manner.

"Pass it without getting ugly," Cuomo said. "Pass it even though it's hard. Pass it even though the lobbyists are beating you up. Pass it even though it's difficult. And say to the people of this state: we stepped up."

Cuomo said lawmakers can do more good for New York in the current legislative session than politicians have done in decades.

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