Bloomberg Suggests Extraordinary Sessions As Senators Flee

ALBANY—As negotiations in the State Senate drag on and on, advocates of mayoral school control are turning up the heat.

Stu Loeser, a spokesman for Michael Bloomberg, issued this statement calling on David Paterson to call extraordinary sessions (ahhhh!!!!!!!) if the bill is not acted on.

The Senate leadership has assured the public, the Governor, and other elected officials that Assembly Bill 8903a would be brought to the floor for a vote today. It is deeply disconcerting that the Senate has so far failed to make good on that promise. This carefully negotiated bill was informed not only by tremendous public input and our discussions with the Assembly, but also by months of discussions with the Senate earlier this year. After more than a month of delay, the time for a floor vote has arrived. It would be wrong to hold the overall governance bill hostage to amendments that have not been the subject of public input, and which can be dealt with at a later date, after there has been time to consider and debate them. The pledge by the Senate leadership to allow a floor vote on the bill should be honored, and we believe we have the votes in the Senate to pass it. And if the Senate fails to act today, we're going to ask the Governor to keep them in Albany until they do.

That would compel all 62 senators to enter the chamber. Three Democrats in the chamber are not in the Capitol today. Senator Carl Kruger, an outspoken opponent of mayoral control, has left, according to an aide. Senator Daniel Squadron, who co-sponsors the Assembly bill in the Senate, is "out for his wedding," according to spokesman John Raskin, who would offer no further details. (The location has been the subject of much speculation around the Capitol; I've heard from various sources that he's everywhere from Dubai to the Maldives.) Raskin said he wouldn't speculate on what would happen if a special session were called. Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., a Bronx Democrat, just told me by phone he had also left.

Sources say the session is now scheduled for 6:30. At least, that's the time several judges whose nominations are active have been told to be back by the chamber.

Bloomberg Suggests Extraordinary Sessions As Senators Flee