ALBANY—David Paterson is effectively daring the State Senate not to convene next week for a special session to address a mid-year budget deficit.
“The state senate had better show up to the special session, and I haven’t any indication that they’ve said they’re not coming,” Paterson told Brian Lehrer on WNYC. “I have not received that indication.”
Senators have scheduled public hearings on Monday in New York and on Tuesday in Brookhaven. John Sampson, the leader of the Democratic conference, told the News that “our hearings will ensure that the public’s concerns and alternative proposals are heard before any deficit reduction plan is finalized and voted on by the legislature.”
Lehrer also played a clip of Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries recommending various revenue actions–raising SUNY tuition for out-of-state students and a soda tax among them–to mitigate the cuts to schools and healthcare Paterson has proposed.
“I’m talking about coming up with revenues by December 15, assemblyman,” Paterson said. “I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to say it before people are persuaded to act and act now.”
He noted he proposed the soda tax in his last budget, but it was rejected by legislators.
“I promise, I’ll put it back in my budget address and give the legislature another chance to do it. You can’t keep voting down the ways to create revenues and saying you don’t want to do cuts,” he said.