"Today, Governor Paterson took the courageous first step of reducing spending and addressing the budget gap. We are facing tough economic times and Governor Paterson's approach is a prudent way to help New York State regain fiscal solvency. The Senate Democratic Conference supports his efforts and asks for the support and unity of all New Yorkers as we make the difficult decisions necessary to get New York working again. The Senate Democratic Conference is considering a number of proposals to help meet our financial challenges. We remain committed to working with the Governor, Speaker Silver and our legislative leaders to cut wasteful spending while preserving money for vital services and growing the economy," said Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith.