NY State Budget May Finally Pass, Or Not

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCNewYork
    Oh, Albany.

    The New York Legislature may end up responsible for the latest budget in state history after all.
     
    Senate leader John Sampson on Tuesday wouldn't say if all 32 members of his Democratic majority will attend Wednesday's extraordinary session called last week by Gov. David Paterson to pass the final pieces of the budget.

      Without all 32 Democrats in the Senate majority in attendance, there is little chance the final budget bill would be passed this week in a session expected to cost nearly $100,000.
     
    The state budget was due April 1. The latest budget ever passed was on Aug. 11, 2004.
     
    Asked if all the Democrats will attend the session, including one senator said to be out of the country on vacation, Sampson told reporters: "Tomorrow is about resolving issues."
     
    Sampson said he is awaiting further negotiations with Paterson. Sampson said whenever issues are resolved — which might not be until next week or later — he will make sure all his members are in Albany to approve them.
     
    "The governor is not negotiating," said Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook.
     
    Hook emphasized that the governor is reviewing, but not negotiating, new budget and policy proposals provided by legislative leaders.
     
    The Democrat-led Assembly has a super majority and is expected to be able to pass any legislation it chooses, although it has already passed all its budget bills.
     
    The cost of holding the session includes the $165 daily expenses almost all of the 212 legislators receive for each day or part of a day they are in Albany. That will be about $70,000 if lawmakers arrive for the Wednesday evening session and leave Thursday. Add to that the travel cost for lawmakers and their staff ranging from up to $500 for an airline ticket, $130 for a train ticket, or the per-mile reimbursement for car travel; and catered meals, hotels for staff and utilities.
     
    The Senate was unable to pass the final revenue bill during the last week of the regular session in June because at least one Democrat withheld his vote to force action on other legislation. Sampson wouldn't say if he has yet secured those votes.
     
    The Senate needs 32 votes to pass anything and the Republican minority has voted in a bloc against most budget measures, although not all Republicans are expected in Albany on Wednesday, either.