Sweeney calls special session unnecessary drama

Senate President Steve Sweeney called today’s special session “drama that’s not necessary.”

Sweeney, speaking on WNYC 93.9 FM, said the Legislature “did the responsible thing” by not pushing forward with immediate tax relief without first knowing that the necessary funds are available.

“Unfortunately, as we were closing out this budget year, the numbers continued to get worse,” Sweeney said, referring to the state’s high unemployment rate and revenue shortfall. “Things aren’t improving.”

Sweeney said if the revenues are there come December, the Legislature is prepared to provide the tax relief.

“I am hoping the numbers he put out are accurate,” he said. “We should all be pushing and hoping for a better economy, but that being said, we don’t want to spend money and then have to cut more programs because the money (is not there).”

Gov. Chris Christie called a special session today at 11 a.m. and is prepared to address the Legislature at 1 p.m.

Christie signed a budget for FY2013 last week after issuing several vetoes, including millions of dollars for projects Democrats had inserted into the spending plan.

The Legislature’s approach called for a tax cut early next year if the revenues are there to support it. In addition, they passed a millionaire’s tax knowing full well Christie would veto it.

Sweeney noted on the air that the governor’s plan also would not take effect until 2013.

Christie has consistently said there is no reason to put off tax relief now for residents.