New York weighs sale of state assets as budget deficit looms

David Patterson Mumbai: New York state, reeling under a slowdown of the economy and a huge shortfall in state revenues following the Wall Street crunch, is weighing plans to sell off assets in what Governor David Patterson called a ''public-private partnership.''

In a televised speech, Patterson called an emergency session of the state legislature on Wednesday, warned of increased budget shortfalls in future and suggested possible sale of roads, bridges and tunnels to stem the growing budget deficits.

He cited 'private-public partnerships' – which in effect is the sale of state assets to private parties - as one way to stem the rot and save the sagging economy from Wall Street's woes.

''These times call for action, and today I promise you there will be action,"  Paterson said, adding the state cannot wait in hope that the problem will resolve itself.

Sheldon Silver In another radio show in Albany, Democratic speaker Sheldon Silver lobbied for a windfall profit tax on oil companies that would raise money to help low-income homeowners pay their heating bills this winter.

Sheldon said he would oppose spending cuts to schools, care for the elderly and affordable housing and called upon the federal government to increase aid to cities.