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State Senate Passes Emergency Budget Measures and Takes Recess

Monday, March 29, 2010

The State Senate passed bills to keep the state running through April 14, then left for a holiday recess. That means the state budget will once again be late.

The Senate was scheduled to be on break for the Passover and Easter holidays, but had to postpone the vote on the emergency spending bill when one of the 32 Senate Democrats needed to approve the measure fell ill. And all of the Democrats were needed for at least one of the budget bills, which was approved by a 32 to 28 margin.

Republican Sen. Joseph Griffo of Utica was one of those voting against the measure. He condemned the weekend of meetings proceeding the vote on the emergency extenders as a “charade,” and said not enough had been accomplished.

“There’s still several days left to get this budget done,” Griffo says. “I just think it’s unacceptable and we should continue to work.”

Lawmakers aren’t due back at the Capitol until April 7, but Sen. Democratic Leader John Sampson says he’ll continue to meet with the assembly speaker and governor, as well as Lt. Gov. Ravitch during the break, and said a quality budget might be more important than an on time budget.

“It’s not a failure,” Sampson says. “An on time budget does not mean a good budget.”

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