Paterson said negotiations that ended early Thursday morning would provide $11 million for full operations this year, effectively offset by money from the Environmental Protection Fund, which would be cut by about $74 million. The measure is also expected to keep the historic sites open this year, as well as Department of Environmental Conservation campgrounds targeted for closing. "We've come to a deal to approximately cut about what I proposed in the original budget," Paterson said on WOR radio 710's "The John Gambling Show." ''The bad news is it has taken about four days to find $11 million dollars to keep the parks open."
But the legislators who are getting their arms twisted by the promise of a glorious Memorial Day weekend without state parks aren't falling into line just yet:
"We have the framework for an agreement, but the specific details are still being discussed by our members prior to any final approval from the Senate," said Austin Shafran, spokesman for the majority Senate Democratic Conference.
Update, 6pm 5/27: The AP updated its article about 20 minutes ago. Now, Shafran is quoted as saying that yes, there is a deal:
The Senate received the draft late Thursday afternoon and planned to review it and take it up today, said Democratic Conference spokesman Austin Shafran. “We have a tentative agreement on a bill to keep the parks open for the rest of the year.”