Paterson to NY Senate: No Work, No Pay


paterson-silverAn angry New York Gov. David Paterson says he will try to withhold the pay and perks of senators until they do their job and if they fight him, he’ll take them to court. Paterson is making the threat after the Senate held another worthless session in a three-week battle over who controls the chamber. A coalition of Republicans and two dissident Democrats mounted a June 8 power overthrow of the Democratic conference. Now senators are talking about going home, saying Paterson’s order to stay in Albany during their summer vacation violates the constitution because Paterson didn’t also compel the Assembly to stay.

The Assembly completed its business at 2 a.m. Tuesday, an extension of Monday’s last day of the 2009 legislative session.

Developments in the NY Senate
– Here are some of the developments yesterday in the ongoing struggle for control of the New York state Senate:

– Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani called for a state constitutional convention to fix what he calls New York’s dysfunctional government.

– Senate Democrats started staking out the chamber at 6 a.m., occupying leadership seats ahead of a scheduled 3 p.m. special session.

– Senate Democrats met at 3 p.m. The members of the 31-seat coalition – 30 Republicans and Democrat Pedro Espada – did not attend. Democrats convened the session, questioned Gov. David Paterson’s authority to call just one house of the legislature into special session, criticized Republicans for not showing up and then adjourned. It was over in less than 10 minutes and was followed immediately by a press conference involving Democratic leadership.

– Paterson called another special session for today and said he’ll ask a judge to force any senator who boycotts to attend. He also said he’ll try to withhold senators’ pay and perks since the start of the coup.

– Senate Republicans sued the chamber’s secretary, claiming he has thwarted their new majority coalition by locking doors, turning off lights and microphones, failing to provide necessary documents and threatening staff. A state Supreme Court justice delayed the case until Friday.

– Senate Democrats said they passed legislation extending the Power for Jobs program which provides low cost power to businesses and non-profits across the state. But state lawyers are still figuring out if any bills passed during Tuesday’s dueling Senate sessions can legally be made law.

– Espada, the Bronx Democrat who helped orchestrate the overthrow, said he may not re-enter the chamber until the leadership roles are resolved. Espada has insisted he’s the elected president of the Senate and has refused to consider alternatives.

{ Newscenter}