ALBANY—Not every Democratic lawmaker is behind the budget.
Assemblywoman Ginny Fields, a Long Island Democrat, is sitting in the front row of a press conference where David Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith will publicly discuss the budget for the first time.
“I think Long Islanders aren’t thrilled, and I know they’re negotiating this M.T.A. plan and I definitely want to vote against that with the payroll tax,” Fields told me. She said she’s upset about fees for H.M.O.s and salt water fishing.
I asked whether she is voting against the budget, and said, “I believe I am, on certain parts.”
Republicans are also expected to vote against the $131.8 billion spending plan, but it is unclear how many Democrats will break with their conference leaders to join them. If Fields does vote against the budget in the Assembly, it’s unlikely to affect the passage of the bill, given the Democrats’ comfortable majority.
But all it would take is one Democratic defector in the State Senate to derail the whole thing.
Legislators who do vote against the budget have been promised financial support by Tom Golisano, the Rochester billionaire and founder of the P.A.C. Responsible New York.