Yesterday, Governor Paterson, in the waning days of his term, called a special session of the State Legislature, in hopes of getting them to balance the budget. But since actually balancing the budget would require lawmakers to make $315 million in spending cuts, they did nothing. Which is about par for the course when the very same lawmakers neededfour freaking months to pass a budget.
Lawmakers say that Paterson didn't give them enough time to review the $315 million in cuts (the bulk of it was aid to local governments, and then $55 million in Medicaid service), while Paterson said that was BS; a Paterson spokeswoman said yesterday, "The Legislature was provided drafts of each bill last week, the Governor met face-to-face with Legislative leaders today and both the Senate and the Assembly accepted the final drafts of the bills prior to the start of session. It appears that, once again, the Legislature is making excuses to push this year’s responsibility further into the future by adding to the deficit that will greet Governor-elect Cuomo when he arrives in Albany."
According to the NY Times, now there's "another $315 million onto the already enormous deficit in next year’s budget — projected at more than $9 billion — which Mr. Cuomo and the Legislature must grapple with over the next five months before passing the next budget, unless lawmakers return again before year’s end." But Paterson admitted he didn't expect the legislators to do much, "The purpose of this session was as much to clear my conscience as anything else."