ALBANY—The mood here among lawmakers tonight reminds me of what architect Henry Hobson Richardson once famousy wrote about Albany: "Misery, wretchedness, ennui and the devil. I've got to spend another night in Albany."
After meeting behind closed doors for an hour, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Teresi said he will hear David Paterson out on why he wants a legally enforceable order for senators come to the chamber for extraordinary sessions this weekend.
On Monday afternoon.
So there will be no State Troopers dragging the lawmakers into the chamber this weekend. Instead, Paterson issued a proclamation calling on the Senate to confirm seven appointees to various state boards. This is no doubt designed to parry the argument legislators have advanced that any substantive legislation they act on will be legally invalid.
"Senate Democrats, as they have done when called every day, plan to fulfill their constitutional duties and attend the extraordinary session," was all Austin Shafran, a Democratic spokesman, would say. But several sources say that the sessions will be brief, much like they were today.
Meanwhile, I'm hearing that a deal first reported this morning that would have named Senator Malcolm Smith in place president pro tempore and Senator Dean Skelos majority leader–relegating Senator Pedro Espada to the position of vice president pro tempore–was rejected by the Democratic conference.
Negotiations will continue Saturday.