Gov. David A. Paterson speaks during a legislative leaders budget...

Gov. David A. Paterson speaks during a legislative leaders budget meeting at the Capitol in Albany. (June 9, 2010.) Credit: AP

Accusing the State Legislature of duplicity, Gov. David A. Paterson vetoed an entire budget bill because of a "poison pill" restoring school aid he had nixed from a companion bill.

The new veto strikes down one of four legislative budget bills adopted June 28. It follows a record 6,681 line-item vetoes of spending, including a $419-million restoration of Paterson's more than $1-billion cut in school aid.

His move now leaves two bills of the $134.4-billion budget unresolved. However, legislative sources Thursday downplayed the veto's significance, saying crucial appropriations weren't impacted.

"The legislature has . . . inserted a poison pill into this legislation," Paterson wrote in a veto message. He said lawmakers had sought to circumvent the school aid reduction by amending the formula used to calculate aid payments.

"The legislature seeks to achieve through the back door of this bill what it did not gain through it appropriation," which was vetoed hours after its adoption, Paterson said.

A two-thirds vote of the State Senate and Assembly is required to override Paterson's veto. The Senate appears unlikely to do so.

Austin Shafran of the Senate's Democratic majority, said: "Adding uncertainty to how money is appropriated for schools brings more chaos to an unresolved budget process." Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver declined to comment. The budget is now 100 days late. Both houses adjourned their regular session July 1 but could return for special sessions.

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