Statement From Sen. Eric T. Schneiderman On Proposed Power-Sharing Agreement

Eric T. Schneiderman

June 17, 2009

Taking politics out of the process, the Senate Democrats proposed a new power-sharing deal today that will allow us to get back to the people’s business. The bipartisan operating agreement would bring the New York State Senate back into session on a temporary basis to finish the important work that’s before us.

As a result of the deadlock during the crucial final weeks of the legislative session, the debate or passage of many of our top legislative priorities has been stalled. Those priorities include the repeal of vacancy decontrol, marriage equality, firearm microstamping, mortgage and pension fraud legislation, the Climate Change Solutions Act, and school governance reform.

There is too much at stake to let political games hijack the agenda. It’s time to get back to work.

Among the highlights of the Democrats’ proposed operating agreement:

  • Democratic and Republican Presidents of the Senate would alternate daily;
  • Floor Leaders would alternate daily (from a different party than that day’s President of the Senate);
  • A 6-member Senate Conference Committee (3 Democrats, 3 Republicans) would work together to determine what legislation reaches the floor; and
  • No Senator shall make or attempt to make a casting vote.

If accepted, the agreement will automatically expire on Monday June 22 – the scheduled end of the regular 2009 session – unless it is extended by mutual consent.

The proposal was offered in good faith and with a commitment to moving ahead with the peoples’ business. We are happy to report that Senator Skelos has agreed to a meeting and hopefully we can resolve any outstanding details.

Click below for Senate Democrats’ letter to Republicans and a copy of the power-sharing agreement.