Schools React to Paterson's Announcement to Release Aid Payments

Albany, NY – Tim Kremer with the State School Boards Association, says if the governor follows through and completes the payments, it will be "good news" for schools.

"So far, they've had to use reserves in order to pay their bills," said Kremer. "This will replenish those reserves."

New York State United Teachers President Dick Ianuzzi says the schools and teachers union may still peruse their lawsuit against Paterson's actions.

"We'll be watching to see what it is he's actually committing to do," said Ianuzzi. "That will drive the decision about the lawsuit."

The governor has warned he may have to withhold payments again in March.

Q and A w/ senators from video hook up feed (not best sound quality)

1-14 Kremer cuts
the School Board Ass'n's Tim Kremer reacts to gov's comments that he will restore the $750m in funds to schools and others that he withheld in December. Kremer also comments on Race to the Top funding and importance of charter schools in the mix

TEXT OF STORY 1-14 Monserrate S :45
A committee has recommended that Senator Hiram Monserrate be either censured, with revocation of privileges, or expelled from the State Senate for a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend.

The carefully worded report by a bi partisan Senate committee, recommends that, in the wake of a December, 2008 incident where he was accused of assaulting his then girlfriend, Senator Monserrate be either expelled from the Senate. If that vote fails, then the committee recommends that Monserrate be censured, with the revocation of perks like committee posts, seniority, and other privileges.

Monserrate was convicted of a misdemeanor in the case, but Senators say they are not basing their recommendations on the conviction, but rather the Senator's conduct during and after the incident, and his failure to fully cooperate with the committee.

"Senator Monseratte's conduct warrants sanctions, " said Senator Andrew Lanza, a Republican from Staten Island, and the co chair of the committee.

At least one of the nine Senators on the committee personally recommends that Monserrate be ousted from the Senate. Senator Cathy Young, a Republican from Olean, says domestic violence cannot be tolerated and that Monserrate "needs to go". The head of the state's Democratic Party, Jay Jacobs, is calling for the Senator's immediate resignation.

The Leader of the State Senate, Senator John Sampson, is not commenting at this time on when a vote to expel or censure Monserrate might take place, saying through a spokesman that he is carefully reviewing the findings.

If Monserrate does leave the Senate, the Democrat's slim 32 vote majority is further imperiled. They would be left, possibly for months, with 31 votes to the Republicans' 30 votes. 32 members need to agree in order for the Senate to even convene, a fact made clear during last year's month long coup attempt. Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch can only cast a deciding vote in certain procedural measures.

Monserrate is expected to seek redress in the courts when any vote against him takes place.