Albany - Gov. Paterson Calls Lawmakers To Work Sunday

Albany - Governor David Paterson, locked in a budget standoff with New York State lawmakers, has called the legislature into a special Sunday session.

State agencies are set to begin shutting down Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. unless Albany passes a spending bill.

Lawmakers claim they've already come to an agreement on a series of budget proposals, including restoring $600 million in education funding, $177 million of which goes to the Big Apple, and restoring money for adult homeless shelters.

While Paterson has the power to call lawmakers lawmakers back into the chamber, he cannot make them act on his own spending plan until Monday.

The governor met at his Manhattan office Friday night with top Democrats to hammer out a final spending bill. When the meeting ended, nothing had been resolved.

Paterson also released his final weekly emergency bill to close out the budget, which was nearly three months overdue.

It would eliminate the state's $9.2 billion deficit and allow wine to be sold in grocery stores, while temporarily lifting an exemption on a 4-percent sales tax for clothes and shoes costing less than $110. 

The bill would also cap local property taxes and free up public universities to set their own tuition increases.

The state's budget has been stymied for nearly three months, and while a large chunk has been approved, lawmakers have been unable to compromise on key portions.

Earlier in June, the Governor promised to resolve the issue one way or another. "If this budget is not agreed upon but June 28, I will put the rest of the savings and budget plan in the emergency appropriations, so we will be out of here. You can plan your schedules, local governments and not-for-profits and school districts will know exactly where they stand."

Throughout negotiations, Republicans have vowed to avoid a government shutdown. "I'm not going to allow innocent decent regular men and women, real people, to be impacted by the incompetency of the leadership to make it even worse," said Sen. Hugh Farley (R-44th District).

Republicans and some Democrats are fiercely opposed to parts of the governor's bill, but will be forced to either vote for it or vote for a state shutdown on Monday.



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