ALBANY -– In today’s if-at-first-you-don’t-succeed example, the State Senate will return to Albany next Tuesday to, once again, try to resolve some outstanding matters. Chief on the list, though, will not be closing the state’s $315 million budget deficit.
Instead, the 62-member house is reconvening a week after this past Monday’s special session to try, again, to pass a bill to keep afloat a giant, state-owned off-track betting corporation in New York City.
The New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., is slated to close after business tomorrow -– on the one-year anniversary of its Chapter 9 bankruptcy reorganization petition.
Gov. David Paterson floated a plan, approved by the Assembly this week, to keep the OTB alive. But the Senate -– dismissing the shut-down threat as empty and amid concerns from some upstate tracks and OTB corporations about the funding cuts they will have to take as part of the deal -– left town without passing the bill.
The return comes as the Republicans -– if the lead holds in a still-contested Long Island race -– are poised to take back control of the Senate in January. Buffalo’s Democratic Sen. Antoine Thompson conceded the day after Monday’s special session in his race to Republican Mark Grisanti.
Word of next Tuesday's session was first announced this afternoon by Senate Republicans. Senate Democrats, though, were still not immediately confirming next week's session.
UPDATE: Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson has now confirmed the session, saying the Senate Tuesday will consider the OTB bill along with a measure -- not approved this week in the Assembly -- to appropriate more than $600 million in new federal funding for New York's public schools.