...FOR DOING THEIR JOBS. The NY State Assembly has passed a budget on time for the first time in 20 years. This is big news, because these politicians have been called the most dyfunctional in the nation, which is no small task. The NY Post calls it a miracle, but Governor Pataki will be trying to renegotiate the budget because he thinks it spends too much (and, as many people have noted, it does not include $300 million that the state is supposed to put aside for a Jets Stadium). Some things for NYC: An additional $325 million for public schools; an increase of .125% in the sales tax (for a sales tax of 8.5%) to supplement mass transit; and $17.9 billion for the MTA.

The NY Times' Michael Cooper gives a news analysis: "Amid the unusual spectacle here on Thursday, there was one familiar element: the partisan one-upmanship over who could take credit for passing the first on-time budget since Ronald Reagan was president and skinny neckties were in fashion." Let's see, skinny neckties are sorta back in fashion, and we have a President who fancies himself heir to Reagan. And that's as far as we want to take it. Anyway, here's a nifty graphic from the Times about what's in the budget.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (of Manhattan) on the passage of the budget.