Last Night’s Budget Meeting Was So Awful, Someone Went to the Hospital Just to Escape It


Last night's scheduled debate on Governor David Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Smith, and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith's $131.8 billion budget plan did not go smoothly, unsurprisingly, since everyone hates it. This morning's Times paints a picture of a Senate floor transformed into a den of bureaucratic iniquity, full of Republicans haggling and stalling and droning over weak coffee and cardboard-tasting pizza as the clock ticked toward the midnight deadline that they would eventually miss. Some people made jokes, but they weren't funny:

“You said that the days of wine and roses are over,” said Dean G. Skelos, the Republican minority leader, amid remarks blasting the Democrats for the bevy of new taxes and fees, including some on alcoholic beverages. “That’s because you’re going to tax wine.”

Ugh. It was all so awful that Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Democrat from Westchester and the Bronx, feeling "faint," called an ambulance to take her to the hospital. She had walking pneumonia. She said.

A Long Night in Albany as a Budget Inches Toward Passage [NYT]
Earlier: Pretty Much Everybody Hates Budget Plan by Paterson, Silver, and Smith