Paterson to N.Y. Senate: No work, no pay
(AP) - As some state senators made plans to go homedespite an unresolved power standoff, an angry Gov. David Patersoncalled them back for another day and said he will try to withholdtheir pay until they do their job.
"Senators: Get to work tomorrow. You're not going home, you'renot getting paid and you're not going to disrespect the people ofthe state of New York any longer," the governor said at a pressconference.
Hours later, the Senate's Democratic conference and theRepublican-dominated coalition agreed to meet jointly Thursdayafternoon in what would be the first full session of the Senate in20 days.
Earlier Wednesday, the Senate held another fruitless session ina three-week battle over who controls the chamber. Closed-doornegotiations continued into the night.
All 30 Republicans and two dissident Democrats mounted a June 8overthrow of the Democratic conference. But on Wednesday, theDemocratic conference seized the rostrum at 6 a.m. to retaincontrol of the chamber for the afternoon session, which thecoalition boycotted. The Democratic conference had boycotted ahalf-dozen earlier sessions controlled by the coalition.
The Senate has been deadlocked since one of the dissidentDemocrats flipped his support back to his own party, giving eachside 31 votes. The coalition proposed binding arbitration, but onlyon the validity of the June 8 coup vote. Democrats dismissed it astaking too long and said the only issue is how to share power inthe current 31-31 split.
The power struggle has paralyzed the chamber for 16 days.