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Albany fears government shutdown by Dem ‘rogues’

ALBANY — A threat by two Democratic senators to shut down government over the late budget has Democratic leaders in Albany seeking support from Senate Republicans who are irritated that they’ve mostly been excluded from negotiations.

The concern is that the two Democrats aligned with a bloc of Republicans could reject a weekly emergency spending bill in the Senate, leading to a government shutdown. That prompted Democratic Gov. David Paterson — who described the two senators Wednesday as “rogues” — to change the next two upcoming weekly spending bills.

The one to be voted on a week from this coming Monday was set to include a cigarette tax increase and other measures to raise revenue, steps the GOP said it would vote against. Paterson now says neither of the next two bills will include tax increases and that one may include a Senate Republican proposal.