Paterson: I'll make lawmakers skip conventions
New York Gov. David Paterson says he mayforce lawmakers to skip their state political conventions to craftand pass a state budget that's now 48 days overdue.
Paterson says he may also continue to operate the state onweekly bare-bones spending measures throughout the year ifnecessary. The emergency bills authorizing that spending putlawmakers in a bind because the law requires them to accept whatthe governor sends them or shut down government.
The Democratic governor also asked legislative leaders to startconference committees. That would involve rank-and-file lawmakersin public meetings to hash out the budget rather than just leadersin closed-door meetings.
The state faces a $9 billion deficit.
The leaders met yesterday and agreed there has been littleprogress since the budget was due April 1.
Gov. Paterson hosts budget talk in Albany
State workers protest furloughs in NYC
Gov. Paterson gives lawmakers ultimatum