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Senators told to stay over another night in Albany

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- The legislative calendar shows today as a "getaway day,'' the day of the week when lawmakers usually hold brief morning sessions and then hit the road and rails to get home.

But Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos has told his members to hang around until tomorrow. That's because the table targets -- the term used to describe how much money they have to spend -- have not been assigned to the various two-house budget conference committees.

Lawmakers all have their own calendar guessing game underway. One envisioned the table targets being received soon with the conference committees wrapping their work up today followed by an evening meeting of the "mother ship.'' [That's the super committee composed of legislative leaders who have to formally adopt the work of the conference committees.]

Another saw the committee process dragging into tomorrow, with budget bills starting to be passed later next week so lawmakers could meet their scheduled March 21 departure date for a spring holiday. Another saw the budget being passed on March 25; that would be the day after Palm Sunday and the day when Passover starts at sundown.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders this morning held a closed-door meeting and, in the annual ritual that signals deals are close, no one is publicly talking any details.

UPDATE: The first rule of Albany is a simple one. Flexibility. Now, lawmakers are being told they can go home. Indeed, many are already on the Thruway.

UPDATE: See first rule about Albany. Now senators are being told to stay tonight for a morning budget briefing tomorrow. Assembly members have gone home.

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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