Senate Democrats Going Home

ALBANY—After spending less than five minutes in an extraordinary session this afternoon, Democrats in the hobbled State Senate questioned the legal relevance of anything they would pass and said they don’t want to do it again.

“Members are going home today,” State Senator Malcolm Smith, one of several leaders in the conference, told reporters. “We will heed the call if the proclamation as issued is appropriate.”

Smith explained that meant the Assembly would also have to be called into extraordinary session. David Paterson has the constitutional power to convene an extraordinary session of both houses of the Legislature or just the Senate, and has asserted the power to “compel” legislators—even using the State Police—into their respective chambers.

Later, Democratic spokesman Austin Shafran clarified Smith meant senators would convene again at the governor’s call, but would not necessarily act on (legally dubious) legislation.

Senate Democrats Going Home