The scheduled Assembly session has been pushed back to 7 p.m., which I don't think I'm going to hang around for, while the Senate has gone home for the day without acting on the rumored deal to reopen the parks. As for the much more significant issue of the overall budget, the conference committees tentatively scheduled for today never materialized, although they are long overdue under terms of the 2007 budget reform law. (But then so is the budget overdue, as it is almost every year. It's just more of a disaster now because they're running out of money.)
I ran into Sen. Tom Libous, deputy Republican leader, in a hallway where he was complaining about Gov. Paterson to Austin Shafran, chief spokesman for the Senate Democrats. I asked Libous how come he wasn't making common cause with the Democratic governor against Senate Democrats like Shafran, and he said on the contrary he'd look to hire Shafran when Republicans regain the majority. I asked him, after Shafran left, about the absence of conference committees, and he said "They [the Democrats] don't want any, you know that. They're going to do a budget behind the scenes."
Most people would settle for that, at this point, which the Democrats are counting on. Trouble is, it doesn't look like they are capable of producing a budget whether behind or in front of the scenes -- and Republican insistence on cutting rather than raising taxes encourages similar demagoguery on the Democratic side. Meanwhile, the state's insolvency becomes ever harder to hide, and the Legislature demonstrates its own bankruptcy by its failure to act.