Senate Not Eager to Return

ALBANY—The State Senate, which is not known for promptness, doesn’t seem eager to respond to David Paterson’s call for a special joint session during the second week of November.

“The Senate will return when there is an agreement,” Austin Shafran, a spokesman for the Democratic majority, said. “We are conducting bipartisan, statewide budget hearings to protect New Yorkers from any additional tax burden and preserve vital services and when these are complete we will continue negotiations with the executive and Assembly.”

Paterson has presented a $3 billion package to deal with a current year budget imbalance. He will also convene a meeting of legislative leaders next week in New York City. At the last meeting, Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson offered some ideas he wanted leaders to look at in bridging the deficit, but no firm counter proposal has been offered by either Sampson or Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

“We are already working with the governor and the Senate to address the current year budget deficit an will continue to do so,” Dan Weiller, Silver’s spokesman, said.