Budget Bickering Continues Between Ny Lawmakers

03.19.09 | FL News Team

With the deadline looming to approve a budget, Albany returned to politics as usual last night with three men in a room. Governor David Paterson, state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith are working to close New York's 14-billion-dollar budget gap in the next two weeks.

The new addition to this year's budget negotiations is all the powerbrokers in the state capital are all Democrats, for the first time in four decades. The three men met behind closed doors to pour over the details of the state's 122-billion-dollar budget.

Republican Minority Leader Dean Skelos criticizes Senate Democrats for campaigning on a message of transparency, but participating in closed door negotiations. The Paterson Administration defends the closed door session as the best way to strike a deal by the April 1st deadline. State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is confident a budget deal can be reached in two weeks.