Lawmakers hold special session in AlbanyPosted: Updated:
? Gov. David Paterson (D-N.Y.) criticized state lawmakers for failing to come up with a plan to deal with the state's financial crisis during a special session in Albany Tuesday.
Paterson called the emergency session in hopes of avoiding what he calls a fiscal crisis of historic proportions. The leaders, however, failed to propose any measures to close the $2 billion budget gap. Paterson has criticized Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) for refusing to negotiate before the special session. Skelos argues midyear cuts to school aid are unfair and that any cuts should be in a state budget proposal. Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver was also blamed by the governor for failure to come up with ways out of the current crisis.?Mr. Leader, with all due respect, I'm still waiting for what your solution to this problem is,? Paterson said during the session.In a similar emergency session in August, state lawmakers cut $1 billion in spending. This time, however, Skelos says the cuts will have a greater impact on education and health care, while Silver says they were simply unable to negotiate a deal.While the legislators continued bickering among themselves, Paterson predicted the $2 billion deficit is just the beginning.?Two billion dollars is a lot of money, but it is really only about 15 percent of what we are going to have to cut between now and April, because the 2009/2010 budget deficit is $12.5 billion,? he said.