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Aubertine says extra time spent on budget is worth it

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There's another special legislative session scheduled for today in Albany. Lawmakers are still trying finalize the comprehensive budget that was due four months ago.

It'll be the latest in a series of special sessions called by Gov. David Paterson. The latest was a quick session Thursday evening, but a number of legislators, both Democrat and Republican, didn't appear. Leaders said they'd reconvene today for another try at passing the budget. State Sen. Darrel Aubertine, a North Country Democrat, says the process has been slow, but worth it.

The final sticking point appears to be SUNY and CUNY autonomy. Martha Foley has more.

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"They were all set to be closed in the original budget and now they're not. Correctional facilities in the district that were set to be closed remain open. All those issues are not going to be in this year's budget because we did go back to the table time and time again," said Aubertine of budget changes.    

Final action on the budget still depends on whether the Senate's democratic majority has the votes to approve the last remaining bill. Buffalo Democrat William Stachowski has withheld his vote since late June. He's hoping to force action on Governor Paterson's proposal to empower the public universities in part by giving them control of tuition increases. There was still no deal with the governor yesterday.

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