ALBANY—Several members of the Assembly Democratic conference let their frustrations with what they see as State Senate’s inability to coalesce around a deficit-reduction agreement boil over in a closed-door conference this afternoon, sources said. Some members suggested cutting an agreement with David Paterson and leaving it on the Senate’s desk. That chamber is at loggerheads with David Paterson about school cuts, which the Assembly is seen as willing to pass.
“The goal is a three-way agreement. My view is that it’s elusive, and that the Senate maintains that can’t happen, then I believe we must do something, and not a one-house bill, but a bill with accord of the governor and us, at least that’s a step in the right direction,” said Ron Canestrari, the chamber’s majority leader. “A two-way is better than a no-way.”
A leaders meeting with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, David Paterson and representatives of the State Senate will occur this evening. Also this evening, members of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian caucus of both houses will be briefed on a plan by the State Senate which substantially avoids cuts to health care and education.
No one seems to think a deal is close at hand.