(ALBANY, NY) State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) said today that it is time for the Senate to move past the focus on who is in power and work in a good-faith, bi-partisan manner to get back to addressing the people’s business. After dead-locking the Senate, Senate Republicans and Senator Pedro Espada have stalled an entire legislative agenda that included property tax relief and school governance. “We in the Senate, or the people we represent, cannot allow power and money dictate what kind of government or leadership control our legislative process.” Addabbo stated. He continued, “Senate Democrats have proposed a truly fair power sharing deal that would take politics out of the process. Unfortunately, the other side rejected that offer and walked away from the negotiating table”.
The Senate Democrats proposal includes:
· 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); and
· A 6-member Senate Conference Committee (3 Democrats, 3 Republicans) would work together to determine what legislation reaches the floor.
“I believe this shared responsibilities proposal is a step in the right direction and would allow the Senate to get back to work. I’m hopeful both sides will agree on its terms and then the Senate can finish its legislative session.” Addabbo added.
The senator continued, “Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, the people of New York have put their faith in us to lead. If Senate Republicans and Senator Pedro Espada are serious about reform and getting results, they will put people before politics. I join with my fellow Senate colleagues in the Democratic Conference who stand ready to work with our Republican Senate counterparts in moving forward to work on the issues that are so important to the people”, concluded Addabbo.