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NY projects at least $24.6B stimulus

ALBANY - New York will receive at least $4.1 billion more in federal stimulus aid than previously thought, according to an analysis released Saturday by Gov. David A. Paterson.

The largest additions are $1.3 billion for unemployment benefits, $1.3 billion for food stamps, $157 million for alternative energy programs and $180 million in Pell college grants.

The analysis, from the state Budget Division, shows New York will receive at least $24.6 billion in federal aid over a two-year period. But Paterson warned the money wouldn't close the projected $14-billion budget deficit for next year.

"This funding does not absolve us of our responsibility at the state level to bring spending in line with what our government can afford over the long term," he said.

"Most of these recovery funds will be spent within two years, in some instances, sooner. Therefore, this federal stimulus legislation does not in any way diminish the need to re-evaluate our operations and produce a smarter, less costly, more efficient government."

The aid was included in a $789-billion federal stimulus package approved Friday night by Congress. President Barack Obama could sign the bill into law as early as Monday - Presidents Day.

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