We're what, less than two months removed from balancing the state books -- ha, ha -- and Gov. David Paterson is projecting a $5 billion budget deficit for the current fiscal year that started April 1.
The Associated Press reports:
Last year, Paterson predicted the severity of the state's financial downturn months before other elected officials. He has long complained that others underestimate how dire the state's financial standing is and that other lawmakers failed to act early to respond to the problem. If his latest concern becomes reality, lawmakers may have to revisit the state budget before the end of the year.
"I'm just trying to think ahead and start preparing the Legislature and everyone else that seems to continue at times not to recognize the difficult situation that we face," Paterson said.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says all this deficit talk is premature. Sure you do, Shelly.
As Silver told the AP:
I just think it's too early to make a prediction. We did the best we could."
Of course you did, Shelly.
As Yogi Berra says: "This is like deja vu all over again."
Yogi also said: "A nickel isn't worth a dime today," which I think might qualify him to be the Assembly's chief budget analyst.
Meanwhile, NY Public Payroll Watch reports the Silver-led Assembly has passed a bill that would require county legislators to rubber stamp any contract settlements their community colleges reach with employee unions.
Basically, if there's money in the county budget and legislators reject a tentative contract, they would be guilty of an improper labor practice under the Taylor Law.
All but six Assembly members voted in favor.