Governor Paterson now says that he will reluctantly accept the $2.8 billion dollar deficit reduction plan that legislative leaders claim he agreed to on Monday. But don't call it a deal.
"I would not describe it as a deal, Ken. Because a deal means that all parties accept the agreement," Paterson told reporters during a Red Room ceremony. "This proposal for $2.8 billion of deficit reduction, includes $1.6 billion that I'm reducing myself and $400 million of stimulus dollars that we're actually supposed to use next year." [New York Observer]The governor continues to insist that he will, and can, compensate for the
There was talk of an all-nighter at the Senate to craft and pass the necessary bills; but that will wait until Wednesday (as the Assembly burns the midnight oil).
And, of course, $200 million from the Big A sweepstakes winner is included in the
Oh...yeah, first actually comes the long-awaited Senate vote on same-sex marriage, scheduled to, as promised, come to the floor following the passing of the DRP. The question of whether supporters can garner the 32 necessary votes seems to be an open one, with the possibility of a few Republicans voting in favor, thus compensating for the few Democrats who may vote against.
One of the latter who's for certain is Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., the most vocal opponent of gay marriage in the Senate. He's nervous enough that he retired to his Albany office to pray. You know, to that God who's in favor of inequality and discrimination.
Paterson meanwhile was in Brooklyn Tuesday night for a town meeting where, it was reported, he reiterated that he intends to run in an attempt to keep his job in 2010. There's no doubt that the governor is seeking to make political gains from his stubborn stand against the legislature, as Elizabeth Benjamin highlighted the other day. But why shouldn't he? It's not like he's a johnny-come-lately to the budget deficit - he's been urgently sounding the alarm practically since his first day in office (or at least after he dealt with the drug and adultery stuff). So I say humbug to his fellow Democrats in the Senate who have criticized him for playing politics; he's just playing the game just as you would (if you weren't too busy doing nothing), and you guys are the perfect foil. If he's ever gonna get back into the race, it'll be in large part on your backs.