Senators Klein, Savino, Valesky, Carlucci Announce Formation of Independent Democratic Conference
State Senators Jeffrey D. Klein, (D-Bronx/ Westchester), Diane Savino, (D-Staten Island/ Brooklyn), David J. Valesky, (D-Oneida) and David Carlucci, (D-Rockland), today announced their departure from the Senate Democratic Conference and the formation of a third legislative conference.
The four senators will caucus together as the Independent Democratic Conference. As a group, they will push for commonsense solutions to the problems facing this state, break the hyper-partisan gridlock that has gripped this chamber, and work to restore the public's trust in its public officials.
“This is a new beginning,” Senator Klein said. “The squandered opportunities, ethical lapses, and mismanagement of the last two years have left the residents of this state distrustful and disappointed in the State Senate as an institution and their government as a whole. As members of the Independent Democratic Conference, we will work to bring integrity back to this house and once again make government a tool to improve people's lives.”
The IDC has pledged to work with Governor Cuomo, the incoming Senate Majority and Minority, and its other partners in government to get New York's fiscal house in order, foster job creation, and cap property taxes. They will also be pursuing a legislative agenda that includes enacting tough new ethics reforms, establishing non-partisan redistricting, and protecting a woman's right to choose.
“We are, and remain, Democrats who are committed to Democratic principles,” Senator Savino said. “The Independent Democratic Conference will allow us to make a clean break from the dysfunction that has defined Albany for far too long and allow us to govern in a manner that our constituents expect and deserve.”
The IDC creates a new paradigm in the State Senate, which for the first time will have more than two legislative conferences. There will be no concentration of power in the Independent Democratic Conference. Each member will have an equal say and an equal vote when it caucuses.
“This conference represents a new way of conducting the people’s business— with civility, a commitment to sound policy, and a willingness to work together,” Senator Valesky said. “In time, this may become a new model for legislative governance; but for now, it is the only choice that makes sense.”
“The late Senator Morahan understood the importance of setting aside partisan politics to get work done for the residents of New York State,” Senator Carlucci said. “As a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, I will uphold that tradition. It is time to stop thinking about the next election and start thinking about the next generation.”