Here’s the veto stamp Gov. David Paterson employed this evening to make good on his threat to veto spending added to the budget by the Legislature if lawmakers failed to come up with a contingency plan to address the possible loss of up to $1 billion worth of FMAP Medicaid cash from Washington, D.C.

Paterson called a Red Room press conference after the Senate followed the Assembly’s lead (although not nearly as easily) and passed all but the revenue piece of the two-way deal struck over the weekend by Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

First to go: $419 million worth of education aid. (Recall that the governor had agreed to put back $300 million of the $1.4 billion worth of education he initially proposed cutting in his 2010-2011 budget. The Legislature added another $300 million on top of that.

Paterson said he intends to continue wielding his veto stamp until he has axed all 6,900 lines of spending added by the Legislature, joking: “If I start now, I should be finished before I leave office.” (CapTon’s Kaitlyn Ross notes the governor actually has to initial each and every veto, so it’s going to take a while).

The governor insisted this is the “final word on these vetoes,” but stressed his door remains open to ongoing negotiations with the Legislature. He said he’s still holding out hope that deals might yet be had on some of his policy initiatives the Assembly and Senate have rejected, like the SUNY empowerment plan and a property tax cap.

Paterson insisted he’s not concerned about possible overrides, adding that he’s merely doing what he believes is “right for the state.” The Assembly has a veto-proof majority, and, assuming all its members vote together, could likely override with little fuss. The Senate, where Democrats struggled all day just to keep their 32 members in line to vote “yes” on the two-way deal, cannot count on the Republicans to provide the votes they would need to reach the two-thirds threshold an override requires.

The governor had some hard words for the Legislature prior to his veto ceremony, saying that the notoriously dysfunctional status quo would actually be preferable to what has occurred in Albany in recent weeks, adding: “We’re actually going in reverse.”

UPDATE: Senate Democratic spokesman Austin Shafran gave me the following statement when I called for comment:

“It’s petty Albany politics with schoolchildren and taxpayers caught in the middle. If the governor can’t have his unilateral powers then kids can’t have their school funding, and that’s a shame.”

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