Paterson Still Playing Hardball; Putting Budget Up for Vote Monday

With no three-way agreement on the budget yet reached, Governor Paterson issued a statement this afternoon saying he would, as pledged, put the remainder of the budget in the emergency extender that must be voted on Monday.

While the deadline is indeed arbitrary—why not last Monday? Or the following Monday?—it sounds as though it will be a firm one. In his statement, the governor said continued negotiation “will not be on Albany time, where deadlines only exist to be extended or ignored.”

The budget will contain cuts to education that have thus far been excluded from weekly budget extenders, and will contain some revenue raisers. If the Legislature fails to reach a deal with the governor over the weekend and fails to approve the budget extender, much of state government would shut down.

From the statement

“[T]he final budget will fulfill the core principles of my initial proposal: shared sacrifice combined with recurring spending reductions and responsible budgeting.

As I have said for months, I am willing to listen to alternative solutions to New York’s budget crisis, and will continue to listen to suggestions from the Legislature over the next 48 hours. However, while the door remains open for negotiation, it will not be on Albany time, where deadlines only exist to be extended or ignored. Absent a negotiated agreement with the Legislature, the emergency extender I will propose will be submitted to the Legislature for an up or down vote. New Yorkers are entitled to a final budget and they will get it on Monday, just as I promised.”

Senate spokesman Austin Shafran emailed out a response saying that negotiations would continue over the weekend, and his chamber would be ready for a vote Monday:

“Working with the Assembly and Governor, we have made the smart cuts and tough choices necessary to reach the final stages of a budget New Yorkers can afford. While having not seen the Executive’s bill, we will continue negotiations, meet our obligation and pass a fair budget by Monday.”

 

Paterson Still Playing Hardball; Putting Budget Up for Vote Monday