The leaders of the Legislature are up to their old political tricks, privately opposing Gov. Cuomo's efforts to cut spending while publicly proclaiming the opposite, key legislative insiders have told The Post.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau), who has repeatedly said he supports Cuomo's austerity efforts, is privately signaling he'll delay passage of the budget beyond the April 1 due date rather than vote for the governor's proposed cuts in funding for Long Island schools, the insiders said.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), who has repeatedly told colleagues he's determined to pass an on-time budget with major cuts in it, is privately insisting on renewing the Cuomo-opposed $5 billion-over-two-years tax on those making over $200,000 and signaling that he, too, will hold up the budget beyond April 1, say the insiders.
They also accuse Silver, a close ally of the pro-tax-hike United Federation of Teachers, of engaging in a "disinformation campaign" under which he has had key Assembly loyalists deliver word to Cuomo and others that an on-time budget will be approved, even while privately plotting a budget disruption.
"Shelly is trying to lull Cuomo into thinking all is going well, even while he prepares to spring his typical trap of last-minute demands on the new governor," said a source close to the Cuomo administration.
Skelos, meanwhile, was described as "scared to death," "jelly-spined" and "two-faced" in his dealings with Cuomo because of fears that the governor's school-aid cuts and intention to close several upstate prisons could cost some Senate Republicans their seats in next year's elections.
"The bottom line is that neither Skelos nor Silver has the political courage to do what the state needs," said a source close to budget negotiations.
"They'll present Cuomo with a late budget and then leave it up to the governor to make them do what they themselves don't have the courage to do."
Don't you love how the governor likes to frame Silver and Skelos as cowards while calling himself the hero in this budget drama?
Hey, Little Andy, if you're so courageous, why'd you create a commission to decide which prisons to close instead of just naming the prisons (and taking the political hit from the constituency that lives in those jurisdictions that will lose the jibs and money associated with them) yourself?
Well, I know you're modest and won't want to take credit for this, so I'll explain why you did it instead.
Because you're a f---ing coward, that's why.
And if you had any f---ing guts, you'd come out from behind your anonymous sources and blast Silver and Skelos yourself.
I hate people who talk s--t behind other people's backs while smiling to their faces.
That's what Little Andy does.