Gov. David Paterson had a rough day yesterday.

A federal judge blocked the controversial furloughs he pushed through Albany as part of an emergency funding bill this week. Earlier in the day, the governor dumped a plan to give $5,000 to $10,000 pay bumps to five staff members. Paterson found himself in hot water for the raises considering he was trying to send 100,000 state workers home without pay one day a week.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn blocked the furloughs — set to take effect next week — until he rules on the lawsuits filed by unions contesting the furloughs. The unions showed the 20 percent salary cut would cause harm, the judge said. A hearing is set for May 26.


Though Paterson backpedaled on the pay raises he had promised four of his press staffers and one other on his executive team, his spokesman defended the raises, telling the Daily News that the shrunken staff has taken on additional responsibilities. The press office alone slashed its payroll by $300,000 in the last two months, he said.

The raises didn’t fly with the Public Employees Union, whose spokesman, according to the News, asked: “What happened to shared sacrifice?”

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