ALBANY—The State Senate will reconvene here at the Capitol the night before David Paterson is expected to present his budget for 2009.
A special session earlier this week ended without any substantive progress after lawmakers were unable to come up with a compromise package. Skelos, who did not provide an alternative plan, threatened to bring Paterson's draft legislation to a vote, knowing that it would not pass the State Senate. Paterson then disbanded the meeting.
Here's a statement from Skelos's office:
New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos today announced that the Senate will return on December 15 to take action on a plan to help close the current fiscal year budget gap and address the State's budget needs going forward by reducing spending and instituting other reforms and incentives to achieve savings and make necessary investments.
"It's important that we take action to close this year's budget gap as we begin work on a new budget Governor Paterson has promised to submit early. The legislation that we will advance and act on will include significant spending reductions, recurring savings actions and important initiatives to maximize revenue. We call on the Assembly to put forward its own plan so we can immediately begin conference committees to act on current-year solutions as we review the Governor's budget for the next fiscal year," Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said.
Governor Paterson has said he will submit his budget for next year onDecember 16. He has said his budget will include measures to close the current gap as well as the projected deficit for next year.
"We committed to addressing this year's budget gap this week in special session, but the bills that the Governor advanced were unacceptable to both the Assembly and Senate. While the Governor is apparently taking steps administratively to help close the gap, there are other actions that can be taken to further those efforts. It will, however, require that the Assembly joins us in passing bills so we can reconcile our differences in joint public conference committees that will allow us to move forward," Senator Skelos said.
In addition, Skelos noted, the Senate will pass legislation to help stimulate the State's economy and create jobs, particularly Upstate, which will include overhauling the State's Empire Zone program and redirecting those funds into tax cuts to jump start critical economic development efforts.
"In 1995, when faced with a multibillion budget deficit and a State economy that had yet to recover from a national recession, the Legislature partnered with a new Governor to reduce spending, cut taxes and create new jobs for our workers. This Governor and this Legislature must follow that model in the coming weeks and months," Senator Skelos said.