Even though the State Legislature has been in special session the past few weeks at Governor Paterson's request because of the state's huge $3.2 billion deficit, no action has been taken to, you know, deal with the deficit and cut the state budget. Yesterday, Paterson asked for special, emergency power to cut the budget himself, which lawmakers, naturally, thought was crazy. Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos declared, "This is not the old Soviet Union."
Paterson said, "I want to make clear that this is not a cash flow problem that can be fixed with one-shots or creative accounting. This is a lack-of-cash crisis that threatens the financial stability of our State. Unless we take action, the State will run out of money. For seven weeks, I have tried to persuade the Legislature to face this reality. So far, certain legislators remain unwilling to acknowledge the severity of the crisis or to do what must be done. The people of New York have waited long enough," also noting, "I understand that many legislators are afraid of political consequences they will face if they approve this proposal, but this is in stark contrast of the fiscal realities that face New York. So we cannot have any political issues here and we certainly can't have the paralysis of these legislators undermining the future of this state."
Both the Post and Daily News have editorials either praising Paterson for trying to deal with the budget (Post: Senate Dems "need either to get to work, or to let Paterson do it. There's little time left") or blaming lawmakers for being cowards (News" "Well, if Albany lawmakers want respect, there's only one way to earn it: by finally acting like adults and beginning to clean up the unholy fiscal mess they've made").