Smith Calls M.T.A. Deadline ‘Artifical,’ Silver Says It’s ‘Hard and Fast’

ALBANY—Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith is calling the March 25 deadline for the M.T.A. bailout “questionable” and saying that while his members are “working on it every day” there is no consensus on a package to address the authority’s deficit.

A few reporters caught Smith on the way to an event on reforming Rockefeller drug laws. He didn’t say why he is questioning March 25, but spokesman Austin Shafran said the deadline is “artificial because it came from the M.T.A. board.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, however, after speaking at the same event, said  “I’m not going to engage in a game of chicken.”

Silver said March 25 is a “hard and fast deadline.” He then pointed out that he has put forth the “only proposal on the table.”

Smith Calls M.T.A. Deadline ‘Artifical,’ Silver Says It’s ‘Hard and Fast’