New York – Senate Republicans and Independent Democrats Form Coalition Government

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Senate Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) announced on Tuesday that they struck a deal and formed a coalition to take control of the Senate in an unprecedented power-sharing deal, AP reported.

Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos and IDC leader Jeffrey Klein announced the partnership Tuesday. Under the agreement, the Independent Democratic Conference will be formally recognized as a third, permanent Senate conference, and that IDC Leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) and Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau County) will administer with “joint and equal authority” over the daily agenda, the state budget talks, appointments to committees and state and local boards.

“We’ve brought spending under control, ended Albany dysfunction and consistently delivered the bipartisan results New Yorkers need and deserve – even on many of the most difficult issues,” Skelos said. “Sen. Klein has proven to be a thoughtful and effective leader, and I look forward to partnering with him to move this state forward.”

“Legislating is a deliberative, cooperative process—not a spectator sport. Having dedicated the past two years to a serious, policy-driven agenda, this agreement delivers on the IDC’s pledge to become a permanent third conference within the State Senate and to have a major voice in all policy decisions moving forward,” Klein said.

“Having worked together over the past two years, I know that Sen. Skelos is not only an effective leader, but is as committed as I am to delivering major bipartisan results for all New Yorkers.

The Independent Democrats also recruited an additional Democrat to their caucus, Malcolm A. Smith of Queens, who announced his decision on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Mr. Smith, a former leader of the Senate Democrats, said the senator had decided to join the group in an aim “to create coalition government which will get things done.”

The Senate Democrats spokesman, Mike Murphy, called the arrangement “not a coalition but a coup against all New Yorkers who voted for Democratic control of the Senate and a progressive state government. Sadly, the real victims of today’s announcement are the people of our state, whose clearly expressed desire for progress on a host of issues will now be scuttled,” Murphy said

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