Coup Crisis Redux: State Government Shutdown?

News

Hey Pedro, remember -- primary in September!

Instead of apologizing to taxpayers for shutting down the NY State Senate with the Coup last year, Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr and Minority Leader Dean Skelos are wrecking havoc again by making it impossible for the NYS Senate to pass a budget. The Senate has been passing emergency budget bills on a weekly basis for a while now. If a deal isn’t reached by Monday, government services will literally cease to be funded. State officials are preparing for the first-ever government shut down.

Paterson has proposed a budget with deep cuts to health care as a way to force the lawmakers to accept his proposals. Dems oppose the cuts, while Republicans are in unified opposition because the cuts don’t go far enough. (Hooray for the Party of No!) So far, Espada and Diaz have said they will not support the emergency budget bill to keep government operating.

The latest re: our favorite State Senator:

Both threatened to oppose future emergency spending bills – even if state government must go dark. For all of its dysfunction, Albany had never sunk that low.

If Paterson loses legal authority to spend money, no one can be sure what agencies will close, what programs will stop, what havoc will be wreaked.

[…]

Espada postured as defender of the downtrodden.

“We have to stop hurting working families and poor,” he huffed – as if those people wouldn’t be the hardest-hit victims of a government shutdown.

This is especially hard to take from Espada, the poster boy for government waste. As CEO of a chain of health clinics for the poor – financed entirely with state and federal funds – and he lives scandalously high on the hog. He has not only drawn a fat salary, but Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says he looted $14 million to support a flashy lifestyle.

His bank account is proof there’s plenty of fat in the state budget, yet he’s going to force a crisis rather than accept cuts.

Espada and Skelos – your state Legislature at work.

Daily News: Bill Hammond