Morning Read, Upstate: The Deficit and Special Session Loom

David Paterson addressed a joint session of the legislature about the severity of the state’s fiscal problems.

“If we make the tough decisions now, we can return to our investments in education and health care for all of New Yorkers,” Paterson said.

Some lawmakers were not convinced. “This is a cash flow problem that can be managed, not a crisis for the state,” a senior Senate Democrat told the Post.

There’s still no agreement on the size of the budget deficit.

Bill Hammond says Senate Democrats “instead propose to break open every piggy bank and run up every credit card to max – in a desperate attempt to keep the spending party going for a few more months.”

“New York is truly blessed that Democrats possess supernatural powers,” the Post says. “Either that or, fiscally, the state’s doomed.”

Of a special session with an ambitious agenda (same-sex marriage, a spending cap) Paterson told Gannett News Service: “I’m well-aware that not all these problems are going to be solved on Tuesday. But I put out my entire agenda so that everyone will know what we need to address in special session.”

He called same-sex marriage “an issue that touches on the very core of our citizenship.”

Same-sex marriage lobbyists are focusing on Republicans.

Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., outspoken same-sex marriage foe, has two gay brothers.

A union leader said he invested with Joe Bruno because he thought the former Senate leader would do him favors.

Joe Bruno wrote letters by hand asking lawmakers for money.

New York is focusing on tax delinquents.

The Monserrate Inquisition Panel met.

Dede Scozzafava is now a verb.

She lost her leadership post in the Assembly.

Cash for Clunkers boosted sales tax collections.

Eric Massa and Scott Murphy explain their ‘no’ votes on health care.

Tom Suozzi’s lead shrunk to 107.

The Champlain Bridge will be torn down and replaced.

And below, video of the Monserrate Inquisition Panel’s first meeting: Morning Read, Upstate: The Deficit and Special Session Loom