Live Blogging the Leaders Meeting
12:01 p.m. Paterson wraps up the meeting. The bottom line: There are a LOT of bad feelings coming from the GOP about being shut out of private budget talks. It’s unclear to me if Kolb and Skelos will agree to another public leaders meeting anytime soon. But — as Kolb points out — Paterson doesn’t really need the minorities to get a budget passed. So much for the bipartisanship that everyone’s been talking about.
11:59 a.m. Paterson is offering to share a bottle of wine that Skelos gave him at the governor’s mansion.
11:57 a.m. Lots of use of “sui generis” by Paterson. I really wish school groups could sit in on these meetings.
11:55 a.m. Paterson: “I never said I wouldn’t borrow.”
11:53 a.m. Sorry for the radio silence; I promise I wasn’t playing “Ms. Pac Man” on Google. The equivlaent of the Space Shuttle’s O-ring on this blog problem blew out. Meanwhile, Kolb got mad at Sampson for calling him “Cobb.” “Would you like it if I called you Senator Simpson?” Silver and Paterson are now both yelling at Skelos.
11:40 a.m. Paterson says Skelos’ credo is: “The good is the enemy of the perfect.” Paterson against those who threaten to shut down the state government. “Who will pay the prison guards?”
11:37 a.m. Quick break from the budget, NY1′s Josh Robin informs me that Karenna Gore Schiff and husband Dr. Andrew Schiff have separated. Tabloid photogs celebrate.
11:35 a.m. Skelos wants the governor to put all of his proposed cuts in next week’s “extender” vote on Monday.
11:34 a.m. Skelos talks about the “b word” and the “t word.” Some legislative aides are hoping the discussion will turn to “The L word.”
11:31 a.m. It’s Dean Skelos’ turn. The Senate minority leader looks professorial with his half-glasses and he’s trying to be calmer than Kolb. He disses yesterday’s “clandestine” budget meeting.
11:29 a.m. Kolb: “If you want to lock me in a room so that no one can leak it out, fine.”
Paterson: “We’ll consider that.”
11:28 a.m. Kolb all but trashes the meeting: “This is nonsense. This is just window dressing.”
11:26 a.m. Kolb is grousing about being shut out of budget talks. Paterson says that “if we will all publicly state how we will balance the budget”, he’s willing to sit down with the GOP. Paterson says he’s worried that some of his proposals will be leaked to the media if he opens budget talks with them.
11:22 a.m. My co-workers here were just discussing the latest episode of “Breaking Bad.” I think that would be a great title for a movie about Albany.
11:21 a.m. Assembly minority leader Brian Kolb asks the governor if he met with the Democratic leaders over the weekend or yesterday to discuss the budget. Paterson says he met with them yesterday.
11:20 Democratic Senate leader John Sampson is trying to be pithy: “Piecemeal is better than no meal but I’m ready for the main course.”
11:19 Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is delivering his opening remarks. He notes that the legislature figured out a way to keep state parks open. “Let’s work together to address the other unresolved issues.”
11:17 a.m. It’s underway and the governor is dissing some lawmakers who are “profiling” for the cameras.
11:08 a.m. The big question looming over today’s meeting centers on the governor’s decision to start implementing his budget cuts in his weekly emergency “extender” bills — which are keeping the state fiscally afloat until a state budget can actually be agreed upon and passed. At least two state senators are balking and say they won’t vote for legislation like that next Monday — setting up the possibility of a government shutdown. I hope they remember how well that worked for Newt Gingrich.
11:03 a.m. Before these press conferences start, I always wonder if the reporters and staffers know they’re on an actual video feed that’s being sent around the state. (No tickling your colleagues or nose-picking, please.) Also, watching the paint dry on these video feeds is a good way for people to learn what political journalism often is: a lot of hurrying up and waiting.
10:59 a.m. It appears that — surprise — things are running late.
10:57 a.m. Hey folks. It’s Bob Hardt here in NYC at NY1. I’ll be watching a video feed of a meeting of our illustrious state leaders who will be discussing why the state budget is more than two months late.
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