From the New York Daily News
By Celeste Katz
Gov. Paterson offered a strange message to Assembly Democrats during their closed door meeting this afternoon, reports Glenn Blain from our State Capitol Bureau: Start acting like Republicans.
"We talked a lot about how the Democratic Party may have to evolve in this era of crisis, and how we have to make decisions that are tough that and are certainly painful and more the types of decisions that the Republican Party usually suggests," Paterson told the pack of reporters that waited outside the Assembly conference room for him to emerge.
"But the Republican Party has shown they have sold out to the special interests during this crisis, and I think it leaves a great void for the Democrats to fill and show the people of New York that the we are the party of decision-making and the party that cares at the same time," the governor said.
Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver both put a positive spin on the hour-long meeting, describing it as a frank exchange, but it was questionable whether any real progress was made in hashing out a new budget.
"We didn’t really agree on anything," Paterson said.
He also conceded it could be mid-June before a budget agreement is reached, given that both parties will hold their nominating conventions in the next few weeks and that the Legislature and Paterson remain at least $2 billion apart in their proposals.
A major sticking point still appears to be borrowing, with Assembly Democrats still clinging to Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch’s plan
"If I had the choice, I wouldn’t borrow a dime," Paterson said.
Blain further reports:
There seems to be a bit of a "he said/she said" developing between Paterson and the Assembly Democrats over what was said about borrowing.
Assembly members say Paterson left the door open to borrowing when he told
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester) that he would accept limited borrowing in exchange for "third-party" guarantees that future budgets would have to be in balance."