Skelos: Paterson Wants a Credit Downgrade

ALBANY—Dean Skelos, the Senate Republican leader, just suggested that David Paterson doesn’t really want to act on something that would plug the state’s budget deficit.

“We need the governor to stop the hysterics, to stop looking at his poll numbers,” Skelos told Fred Dicker on WGDJ. “I think, quite frankly, he hopes that Moody’s downgrades us. He’s hoping we don’t get an agreement.”

Dicker asked Skelos about the prospect of unilateral action by Paterson–furloughs, layoffs–that would come in the event of a legislative impasse. Last night, Paterson did not emerge from a closed-door negotiating session where Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver refused to rule out a two-way deal.

“If the governor wants to be a leader and he wants to get a deficit reduction plan, he can work with the legislature,” Skelos said; he suggested the governor send a bill version of his deficit reduction plan. “We can get it done this afternoon.”