When Governor Paterson called for a special Sunday session to discuss the long overdue state budget (it was due on April 1), lawmakers did head back to Albany. But this is what happened, according to the Times Union: "The Senate and Assembly gaveled in and out in "extraordinary" sessions that, added together, totaled less than 10 minutes," and "ignored every item on the governor's to-do list... Paterson had asked them to address plans to revamp SUNY's tuition schedule and set up a contingency fund for a potential $1 billion federal shortfall in Medicaid funding."

Which totally pissed off Paterson. He told reporters the lawmakers' actions were "kind of appalling" and said, "On January 19th I introduced a budget that was balanced and fiscally responsible. On Friday, the legislature submitted my budget - but before introducing it they amended it to include $500 million dollars of additional spending that they don't pay for, and also funded 6,800 programs to the tune of approximately $200 million dollars." Paterson also said he would veto the Legislature's $519 million in additions to the budget if it didn't create a Medicaid contingency fund (he says $1 billion in Medicaid funding may be lost).

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, "The governor called us and briefed us on his version of a three-way deal, which (included) a number of things that didn't affect the budget and didn't help us get there. And that has a lot of do with why this budget is late," and Senate Conference Leader John Sampson said, "The bills we introduced allow us to continue negotiations, move forward with gap-closing action and keep government working." The Assembly and Senate version eliminates Paterson's 4% property tax cap, soda tax and plan to sell wine in grocery stores but does keep a sales tax on clothing (more details), would fund measures.

Some Democrats worry that if the Legislature's plan, apparently Silver's idea, passes, they'll face a backlash from the public. If there's no budget deal by 12:01 tomorrow, the government will shut down.