Gov. David Paterson has called for a legislative leaders meeting Sept. 23 to try and find common ground about how to handle the state’s $2.1 billion (and growing) budget deficit.
Paterson wants to call the Senate and Assembly into a special session this month to cut the budget, but he hasn’t received a lot of cooperation to date. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, has said he doesn’t want to call members back unless there is a deal first. Senate President Malcolm Smith, D-Queens, said last week that the state might be better off waiting until the fiscal picture is clearer before taking any action.
The governor said in a statement that the longer the state waits, the harder the decisions will be.
“Every state in the nation is confronting the same historic economic crisis, and many states that have passed their budgets have been or will be forced to take additional action,” he said.
“States that have failed to address their budget problems in a timely manner have been forced to deal with cash flow difficulties, delayed ayments on critical obligations, employee furloughs, and diminished credit ratings. I will do everything I can to ensure that this does not happen in New York,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader John Sampson, D-Brooklyn, issued the following statement in response to Smith:
“The Senate Majority Conference is absolutely committed to protecting New Yorkers from further tax and fee increases while preserving vital services. We share the Governor’s concern over a weakening economy and look forward to starting a public conversation about how to best balance the budget and put our economy back on track.”