ALBANY - The warring factions of the state Senate promised to meet for the first full session in nearly three weeks Thursday afternoon after Gov. David Paterson threatened to stop paying lawmakers and take them to court.
"You're not going home, you're not getting paid, and you're not going to disrespect the people of New York any longer," Paterson said.
Following the governor's announcement, Republican and Democratic senators agreed to return to the chambers at 3 p.m. for a special session.
The Senate has been essentially paralyzed since June 8, when dissident Bronx Democrat Pedro Espada Jr. and Queens Sen. Hiram Monserrate voted with the GOP in order to overthrow the Democratic leadership. However, even Espada agrees the senators have gone too far.
"I don't want to participate in another day of that kind of embarrassment," he says.
The Senate has already tried to hold two special sessions since the beginning of the power struggle, one of which took place on Wednesday when Republicans failed to show up and Democrats left the chamber after five minutes.