The State Assembly passed a $2.8 billion deficit reduction plan last night and, according to the Times Union, "The Senate is expected to pass the bills with bipartisan support in a session scheduled for 10 a.m. today." Of course, this is not the $3.2 billion in reductions that Governor Paterson has repeatedly said the state needs, but he said he'd take it anyway, "I would not describe it as a 'deal' because a deal means that all parties accept the agreement... It does give us about $600 million in cuts or other actions that require legislative approval, so we would not cut off our nose to spite our face."
The Observer notes how the Assembly pulled an all-nighter to pass the bill and asked Speaker Sheldon Silver why they were burning the midnight oil. Silver said, "It's clearly a fiscal emergency for the State of New York. As soon as we can get something done, we intend. No, we think we're doing what's right. We've done it before and the Senate has eventually done it." (The Observer's Jimmy Vielkind added that Silver seemed "unconcerned by the fact that the less-than-reliable State Senate left the building three hours ago.")
The Times Union says the Legislature's "final deficit reduction package does little to address the state's ongoing fiscal crisis. The legislation contains minimal cuts to health care and no cuts to education...The deal is expected to include $833 million in administrative cuts, at least $776 million in sweeps of city and state funds, a 12.5 percent cut to legislative pork, and $619 million in cuts to local assistance. Lawmakers will also use $391 million of next year's federal stimulus funds to plug this year's deficit."