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Sunday, June 21, 2009
ALBANY - Gov. Paterson drew a line in the sand Sunday to warring do-nothing senators: Settle your differences or get ready to spend your summer in Albany.
A fed-up Paterson warned he will call a special session of the Senate for tomorrow and use his gubernatorial powers to call the lawmakers back every day until the two sides resolve their leadership dispute - even if it means weekends and the Fourth of July holiday.
"Over the last couple of weeks, the senators' conduct has been laughable, but what's going on around here these days is no joke and I don't find it funny," he said.
Although he has no authority to force lawmakers to end their differences and actually conduct business, he can, under the state Constitution, force them into the Senate chamber.
"There will be no excuses and there will be no tolerance for noncompliance with this order," he said. He even left open the possibility of using the state police to force them into the chamber.
"And as they have inconvenienced all New Yorkers for the past few weeks, maybe we'll see how they like feeling the same way," Paterson said.
Tomorrow's agenda, Paterson said, would include several time-sensitive bills that must be addressed immediately, including mayoral control of the city schools and the city's request to increase its sales tax by 0.5%.