Paterson, Legislative Leaders Meet On Budget


Gov. David Paterson and legislative leaders broke from a meeting in Manhattan this afternoon on the state budget without a deal, but apparently some new proposals from lawmakers on how to end the budget impasse.

Paterson indicated he wasn’t sure what to make of the meeting with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, and Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson, D-Brooklyn.

“What I would say is that there is something that they threw in my court. If it’s a ball, then it works, if it’s not, then we had an afternoon that was unproductive,” Paterson told reporters after the meeting. “What we need right now in this state is real and recurring reductions that put our economic picture back in balance.”

Legislative officials said the meeting basically boiled down to figuring out how they all could agree on a contingency plan if $1 billion in Medicaid money from Washington doesn’t come through, a SUNY empowerment plan and some sort of property-tax relief.

Paterson wants a property-tax cap, but that continues to be a non-starter in the Assembly, which instead is looking for school-aid restorations.

As a way to perhaps get the governor to back some school-aid restorations — which aides said he has no plans to do — legislative leaders are talking about a scaled-down SUNY empowerment plan that would give the public colleges more autonomy but at the same time still give the Legislature some control over the system.

For example, SUNY would be able to set smaller tuition increases than initially proposed, but the Tuition Assistance Program would cover the cost for low-income students, and the Legislature would still have a say in how SUNY bonds for projects.

Austin Shafran, a spokesman for Sampson, said the sides continue to seek agreement in advance of Wednesday’s special session being called by the governor.

“The leaders met with the governor to present their counter proposals to resolve the budget in a fair and responsible manner by creating jobs through SUNY empowerment, reaching an agreement on an FMAP contingency plan and providing property-tax relief,” he said.


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  1. Give us all Another on

    Doubletalk, all around. Fact is, they probably met at the Four Seasons ( said locus conveniently left out of the press release,) spent $400 of taxpayer dollars on poached fish, told a few inside jokes, and left.

  2. Who cares about debt, budgets, etc. We all just want to buy wine in the grocery store and drown away our misery in this state!

  3. The sport of MMA is widely popular not only in the US but in several other countries as well, what a boost this could be for NY at local and state levels economic levels! 44 other states already on board and regulating this sport! Albany needs to get on this train and help to lessen the financial burden of New Yorkers!

  4. In the past five years, the sport of Mixed Martial Arts has seen a meteoric rise in interest from nearly every age and demographic, adding to its cache as a mainstream sport. MMA fights are a display of strategy, skill, and athleticism, pushing its fighters to be extremely versatile and accomplished in a wide variety of branches of martial arts.

    MMA would bring millions to NY in a time of a failing economy – creating tax revenue for the state, while filling hotels, arenas and restaurants as fans flock to the state.

    Join Us To Help Bring MMA to NY!

    Please join the thousands of New Yorkers at who have called, written or emailed their State Senators and Assembly members and asked them to bring MMA to NY.

    Please follow the link below to email your NY Representatives to urge them to legalize MMA in New York State.

    You can also make an impact by joining us on our Facebook group at

    Thank you!

  5. A very good synopsis of the current state of MMA and why it should be brought here is brought out bt the previous posters.
    I agree with them that MMA should be brought to NY and sanctioned by the NYS Athletic Commission. Money talks, and the economic figures that are generated in other areas should be the motivation to get this done. I’m sure that if one looks into the economic impact that MMA events bring to an area then that has to be seen as a moot point in any argument.
    This is a proven stimulus, not a pipe dream.

  6. Please pass the MMA portion of this bill, it could mean millions to the NY economy.

  7. matthew ruiz on

    the time has come to bring mma to ny, the time is now! the fans want it and the state needs it!

  8. Go fight the Taliban if you have all that energy and want to do something constructive.

  9. MMA is a fast growing sport. If Boxing, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Kick Boxing, Karate, Wrestling and other various forms of martial arts are all considered ‘sports’ then why would MMA be considered different? Sanctioned in over 40 states as well as our US Army (1995) as one more way for our brave military personal to train and have a strong edge against our adversaries.
    MMA creates revenue and has proven its popularity through the wide spread growth it’s experienced since it’s debut as an official organization in 1993 (UFC). ‘MMA’ has become a franchise with DVD’s, clothing, pay-per-view, live events, reality series and competitions, and athletic facilities that train athletes in this specialized sport. The only events currently allowed in NYS are often charity, which is very admirable, however the athletes are not paid or professionally recognized for the skill and talent they posses. Not just anyone can master the sport, it takes dedication, stamina, and passion-among other qualities such as great athletic ability. If people in NYS can walk around wearing various MMA clothing, can pay to train in the various forms of the sport, can pay a cable provider to purchase popular pay-per-view events happening in OTHER states then why would NYS shut out such a revenue producing option? Especially considering the cost of living in NYS (taxes, education, real estate, etc.).

  10. John F McCrory on

    July 28, 2010 9:55 PM I am a NYS Certified Paramedic and the father of a Professional MMA fighter ( Tamdan McCrory). I have been to many MMA events and the first thing I was impressed with are the measures that are taken to protect the fighters from injury. Some people have labeled this sport barbaric, and a blood sport. This is far from the truth, MMA is a sport of skill, and discipline, and is no more dangerous than boxing. Most of the people who oppose legalization are either uninformed or remember MMA from its early days. I assure it is very different now. I think MMA can be a financial benefit to NY with the revenue it will generate, not just to the venue where it is showing, but to the restaurants, and hotels that are in the areas also.

    Lastly to the those who oppose legalization: I say if MMA is not your cup of tea than don’t watch it. You have no right to impose your opinions on those who are fans of the sport. Let MMA be legal iand regulated in New York State.

  11. Sergio Benitez on

    Regulation & sanctioning of MMA (mixed martial arts) is a way to help balance the budget.