Gov To Legislature: Get Comfortable
Gov. David Paterson vowed today that he will keep the Legislature in Albany until a budget deal is reached – starting with the rare Sunday night special session he has called for 7 p.m. this evening.
Speaking to reporters at the gay pride parade in Manhattan, Paterson said the two-way deal the Assembly and Senate plan to pass tomorrow “theoretically” will avoid a government shutdown, but also called it a “gimmick to prevent me from using emergency appropriations.”
“The Legislature is going to stay there till this gets done,” Paterson said.
“So, I know they’re coming today, but bring extra clothes because this process is going to end when we go back today.”
The governor questioned whether the legislative budget deal will be balanced (we have yet to see the revenue bill, although there’s supposed to be one out today), saying he doesn’t want to see a repeat of last year, when the Legislature was forced to enact mid-year cuts to address a post-deal deficit.
“I do not want to come back to Albany with an unbalanced budget like we did in the middle of the year last year because remember, that deficit was never closed by the Legislature,” the governor said.
“It led to me having to withhold payments from schools, not for profits and local governments who didn’t deserve for that to happen. That happened because the Legislature would not close the out-year deficit and that is not in dispute, that’s a fact and I don’t want it to happen again.”
Paterson said the two-way deal caught him by surprise because Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson didn’t get him any warning of what they were planing when the three men met in the governor’s Manhattan office Friday night.
“I didn’t know anything about it until yesterday afternoon,” Paterson said. (That’s when Silver and Sampson announced via press release that they had reached a two-way deal).
“They seemed surprised that I did what I said I was going to do to put out emergency appropriation…They talked about some ways to avoid having to do emergency appropriations on Monday, but they did not give me the concessions we need that will balance the budget.”
(Recall that the emergency appropriations bills actually have not yet been released by the governor’s office. All we’ve seen so far is a briefing white paper from Budget Direction Robert Megna).
The governor insisted he’s “happy” the Legislature is putting his original budget bills – with some modifications – up for a vote, noting he has long called for an up-or-down vote on his original 2010-2011 plan.
He didn’t mention anything – nor was he asked – about vetoing the restorations the Assembly and Senate have added to his budget bills.
He only has the power to line-item veto the additional spending, but cannot veto his own budget bills.
This has led legislative leaders to insist there will be no “high noon” threat of a shutdown tomorrow, but it’s yet unclear if their revenue plan will cover the cost of their proposal.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on June 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm, and is filed under Albany, Assembly, David Paterson, John Sampson, NYS Budget, Sheldon Silver, State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|