ALBANY – A group of breakaway Democrats will stick with Republicans who control the state Senate, continuing a coalition that has helped to keep the GOP in charge of the 63-member chamber despite their showing in the November elections.
The Independent Democratic Conference said Monday that its seven members will join with the GOP to form a majority coalition because “we know how important it is to engage and get things done,’’ said Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), head of the group.
Six lawmakers from downstate and one from upstate make up the group.
As a result the Senate will continue to be led by Senator John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County). Keeping control of the Senate also means that Chautauqua County’s representative in the upper Chamber, Cathy Young (R-Olean), will continue to keep her position as chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
The state Legislature will return Wednesday for a six-month session that will be stressed by a strained relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo after its first pay raise in 17 years was scuttled.
Key issues that will be focused on during the next six months will be the State Budget, ethics reform, and the legalization of ride-hailing services, such as Uber and Lyft, in upstate.