State Legislature ignores Gov. Paterson, does nothing to balance budget, save OTB
BY GLENN BLAIN AND KENNETH LOVETT
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU
Tuesday, November 30th 2010, 4:00 AM
ALBANY – The Legislature on Monday thumbed its nose yet again at lame-duck Gov. Paterson – ignoring his call to close a $315 million hole in the current budget.
The Senate also thwarted Paterson by ending a special session he had called without passing a rescue plan for the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp.
The failure to act throws OTB’s future into jeopardy.
The governor was further embarrassed by the Senate Finance Committee, which rejected his nomination of longtime aide Seny Taveras for a $101,600 Parole Board commissioner post.
Even some of the least contentious issues, including the authorization to allocate $607 million in additional federal school aid, were left undone.
Instead, the Senate amended two minor bills that passed earlier this year and agreed to create a commission to review possible raises for the judiciary.
Senators also confirmed eight judicial nominees and six others for various positions – out of 147 the governor was seeking.
Several senators say they expect to be back in mid-December to take up some of the outstanding issues – though insiders say they don’t believe it will happen.
After waiting around for most of the day doing nothing, lawmakers ripped Paterson for ordering them back to Albany with no legislation drafted or deals in place.
“Why are we here?” asked Senate Deputy Majority Leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx). “It’s kind of like our new governor, Andrew Cuomo – he’s our only hope.”
Before the Senate formally left without doing much, Paterson admitted his expectations were low. “The purpose of this session was as much to clear my conscience as anything else,” Paterson said.
The Assembly was set to pass a moratorium through May on a controversial upstate gas drilling procedure.