Yet Another Senate Suit, This One From Aubertine

ALBANY—Everyone expected that there would be legal action if David Paterson moved to enact bills passed during the coffee-run coup. Apparently that wasn't necessary to trigger a suit.

State Senator Darrel Aubertine, a Watertown Democrat, filed suit against several Assembly staffers for not performing what he asserts is a "ministerial" duty of sending along the bills to Paterson's office. He is seeking a court order called a "writ of mandamus" to try to compel them to do so.

While Paterson has said he does not think the bills should become law because they are "disputed," Democrats in the still-hobbled State Senate insist they are legal.

Aubertine is particularly worried about the Power for Jobs program, which expired on July 1. Last week, Democratic Senators Antoine Thompson and Bill Stachowski held a news conference calling on Republicans to back the program as well.

"The hundreds of businesses enrolled in the Power For Jobs program with more than a quarter of a million employees across the state need this legislation signed into law. Taxpayers in my district and across the state need these home rule bills enacted," Aubertine said in a statement. "My colleagues and I voted to protect these jobs and give our localities the resources they need to keep property taxes in check. Under the rules of the Senate, our votes count. The Assembly does not have the constitutional authority to say otherwise."

A spokesman for the Assembly majority did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The case will be heard on July 17 in Albany Supreme Court.