Paterson on Senate Snafu: ‘This Is Getting a Little Ridiculous’

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Photo: Patrick McMullan

Governor Paterson pushed the warring State Senate just now to resolve their differences and get back to work. In a press conference, he also said that he'd suggested to Democratic leader Malcolm Smith and Republican leader Dean Skelos that an extension of the current session, which is scheduled to end on June 22, might be necessary to resolve all bills that are still outstanding. He even offered to sit down with party leadership, and proposed that a vote be made on all issues where the outcome is unknown. "Wouldn't that be refreshing!" he cracked. (Bills like the one for marriage equality are traditionally left off the floor in the Senate until their fate is predetermined.) "I'm not going to interfere with what goes on in the legislative branch," he said, in response to questions of whether the new GOP leadership was legitimate. "They have got to hold a vote to determine who their leadership is, and they have to do that immediately." He added that the delay, with the session's ticking clock, was "getting a little ridiculous." "They've got to act like adults here!" he groused. Notably, though, he did not say whether he'd back his ally Malcolm Smith for future leadership of the Democratic caucus. He said he urged Smith to go back to session with the Republicans, but would not say how Smith responded. So far, the Democrats have stood behind Smith. "They can elect whomever is the majority leader," Paterson shrugged.

Related: For our complete coverage of the Albany coup, read here.