ALBANY–Republican legislative leaders Dean Skelos and Jim Tedisco just likened the lack of transparency in the budget process to….A.I.G.
"We saw what happened with Chris Dodd and A.I.G., and they're going to make the same mistake," Skelos said. He and Tedisco left after only a few moments; Skelos said he ate a lunch of fish, saw that finance staffers weren't present, and walked out.
Tedisco fed off of Skelos' sound byte. (He's making A.I.G. an issue in his race for Congress.)
"If they pass this in the middle of the night with no evaluation, with two voices looking at this and being able to speak out, it is going to be, as the senator said, just like A.I.G.," Tedisco told reporters. "That piece was in that $780 billion spending bill, nobody knew what was in it. It was passed and now $165 million of taxpayers' money has gone for bonuses for the very people who destroyed our economy."
Meanwhile, closed process or no, there seems to be no substantive progress on the M.T.A. deficit. Silver said he is waiting for a plan from Dean Skelos. Smith said he is waiting for accurate information and figures from the M.T.A. Both spoke as they drove away from the governor's mansion.
Skelos said that there will be no budget conference committees; Silver said "we are going to deal with the budget in the most appropriate way."
David Paterson said nothing beyond issuing a press release congratulating New York's college basketball players.