There is no way the New York State Senate will abdicate their responsibility to approve cuts to the state's beleagured budget -- even as Gov. David Paterson tries to move on the matter all by himself, senate leaders said tonight.
Saying "the Day of Reckoning is here," Paterson announced he would introduce legislation that will give him the one-time authority to make spending cuts without the approval of the legislature.
With no deal to cut the budget in sight and the state facing an imminent financial crisis to the tune of $300 billion, Paterson said the choice was like the one struggling parents make: "Toys for Christmas or pay the rent."
He said the "Executive Option Proposal" would "grant me as governor the one time authority to balance our current budget, preserve our credit rating and keep New York afloat."
Members of the state Senate said today the will not allow Gov. Paterson to take the reins on the issue -- and a source indicated that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is of the same opinion.
The legislature would have to approve the measure -- and the strategy is to give lawmakers the ability to pass the buck to the governor and go home. That way, they wouldn't have to take responsibility for any undesirable cuts that Paterson has laid out.
"The people of New York have waited too long. Cut this deficit or I will do it myself," said the governor. "I stand willing and responsible to preserve the future of New York's finances."
"If the Legislature is unwilling to do what needs to be done, I will."