Angry New Yorker

Friday, May 16, 2003
State Legislature Overrides Pataki on Budget Vetoes

ALBANY, May 15 — "For the first time in two decades, New York's Legislature overrode a governor's vetoes of its spending plan today. The lawmakers revived a budget that increases state taxes to restore billions of dollars in spending on schools, hospitals, nursing homes and localities.

Moving deliberately and in a coordinated fashion rarely seen in Albany, both Republicans and Democrats rolled over George E. Pataki, the three-term Republican governor, who seemed resigned to losing the biggest governing battle of his career. . . . The process began shortly after 11 a.m. The Democratic Assembly finished overriding all 119 vetoes by 3:26 p.m. The Republican Senate, which had started the process later, finished soon afterward, passing all 119 overrides unanimously.
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The process departed from the usual custom in Albany of governing by three men in a room: Mr. Pataki; Senator Joseph L. Bruno, the Republican majority leader; and Sheldon Silver, the Democratic Assembly speaker, who normally decide issues and get their conferences to rubber-stamp them.
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By leaving the possibility of lawsuits open, he left an air of uncertainty over a budget that appeared to be all but resolved, more than 40 days late but still earlier than in many other years. The state has missed the April 1 budget deadline every year for 19 years in a row.
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