ALBANY—So much for an early budget.
"The leaders told me they just don't see any possibility of passing the budget by March 1," David Paterson just said during a Red Room press conference after a meeting with legislative leaders (of both parties!) this morning. "That obviously will impact on the deficit to a degree, but I think that the most important issue right now is that the budget be on time."
He has hinted at this before, despite making the case that adopting some measures a month early would save hundreds of millions of dollars. Paterson said that the enactment of a federal stimulus package—which will hopefully be approved by the end of the week—will allow negotiations and hearings to begin in earnest.
But not next week. Legislators will be on break.