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New York State Senate finishes work on state budget

The New York State Senate finished its work on the state budget in an overnight session at the Capitol.

The governor and legislative leaders decided to abide by the normal procedures and let the budget bills “age” for three days before voting, so that anyone who is interested could read them.  Some of the bills were not printed until Sunday evening, which made them eligible for voting on Wednesday. Senators abided by the letter, if not the spirit of the law.

Senate Deputy Republican Leader Tom Libous denies that any transparency is lost in the middle of the night session.

“The public doesn’t care,” said Libous, who says he plans to face his constituents at home shortly after the budget passes.

“They just want to know ‘did you get the budget done?’” Libous said.

The state Assembly has not begun to vote on budget bills. They plan to take up all of the legislation in a marathon session on Thursday.  If they stick to their schedule, the budget will be finished early for the third time in a row.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.