Senate Debates Budget Without Hassell-Thompson

ALBANY—Debate over the budget has begun in the State Senate without any sign of Senator Ruth Hassell-Thomspon, who was taken to the hospital earlier today.
“Debate has started, and we expect Senator Hassell-Thompson will be here to vote on the budget,” said Austin Shafran, a spokesman for Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.
As the chair of the Finance Committee, Democrat Carl Kruger is in the thick of the debate. He was asked to rise for a question on the bill from Republican Senator John DeFrancisco, a few moments after a Republican colleague, Steve Saland, referred to the State Senate as a “gulag.