Fri December 7, 2012
Legislators mixed on new Senate deal
The bipartisan coalition that came together earlier this week to take control the New York State Senate is drawing mixed reactions from some local members of the legislature.
Senate Republicans will maintain their control of the chamber, at least part of the time, thanks to five breakaway Democrats. The deal calls for the president's title to alternate between the coalition's top leaders on a biweekly basis.
State Senator Mark Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican, says the interesting thing about the split leadership is the independent Democrats have been voting with his conference on most of issues.
"The important thing is that for the last two years, Albany has not been dysfunctional. We've been functioning, getting budgets passed on time, with great results, not only for the state but our region here in western New York," said Grisanti.
But the bipartisan coalition is a concern for Assemblyman Sean Ryan. The Buffalo Democrat says voters elected a majority of Democratic Senators and he says the chamber's leadership is "pulling the rug out from under Democracy through back room deals."
"They're setting up something that's very precarious. We have a huge state government in New York. This idea that we're going trade back-and-forth leadership every week...it's really absurd," Ryan said.
"To me, it's a last grasp of a leadership that's trying to keep their leadership positions at all cost."
Still, Ryan says he believes lawmakers will continue to "act like adults" and he move forward in the coming session.