By Tom Precious
ALBANY -- Tully rule notwithstanding, the Senate pulled an all-nighter and passed the 2013 state budget bills shortly before 5 this morning. [They broke for a spring break, a vacation that was to begin last week but was stalled with budget snags; the Senate is due back April 15.]
"We should be very proud of the results of this budget,'' Senate co-leader Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, told colleagues shortly before the house adjourned.
"We achieved a budget that is fiscally responsible. This budget is pro-taxpayer, pro-family, pro-jobs and builds on our successes of the past two years,'' he said.
Democrats, though, spent hours noting the fiscal plan's shortcomings, including cuts for developmentally disabled people, public health programs and a minimum wage hike that is less than what many Democrats had sought.
"Our work is not done. we've left too many people behind,'' said Senate Democratic conference leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Westchester County Democrat.
The all-night session is a break with the tradition of the Senate that has held largely in place since 1997. It was that year when Sen. Michael Tully, a Long Island Republican, died of a heart attack following an all-night gathering.
"This is a vampire bill,'' said freshman Sen. Terry Gibson, a Dutchess County Democrat, in urging colleagues, unsuccessfully, to hold the budget deliberations during daylight.
The Assembly is due back tomorrow to take up the budget bills.