Governor David Paterson is calling the current State Senate session the 'Do Nothing Senate' and says he's ordering the State Comptroller to suspend Senators' pay, in addition to their per diems and funding for 'pork' projects.Tuesday, the Senate did go back into regular session, under court order, and some bills were passed. However, the governor says dispute over the presence of one Senator puts the votes' validity in question. Senator Fran Padavan (R-Queens) says he was not in the Chamber for the regular session, so Paterson is calling them back into 'extraordinary' session tonight at 7:00 - with the warning that 'they had better be there."
At issue, several programs that expire at midnight. Paterson says they're worth $1.9 billion in funding, including sales tax for counties. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr, at the Albany news conference, says it will mean a huge property tax increase here. Also due to expire at midnight, the Power for Jobs program, which Syracuse Chamber of Commerce Vice President Deb Warner says will mean loss of manufacturing jobs here. Stephen Acquario, from the State Association of Counties, says Moody's and other credit ratings services will lower both county and local government ratings unless the crisis is resolved.
Paterson says the fight over who controls the Senate can be resolved separately from the deadlock and urges action tonight. Stay with Action News for continuing developments from Albany.