Senate Democrats Propose Good Faith, Bi-Partisan Agreement; Republicans Reject Offer Deadlocking Senate

Malcolm A. Smith

June 15, 2009

Statement from Temporary President of the Senate Malcolm A. Smith and
Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson

“Cooperation is necessary to do the basic business of the Senate, since neither conference can convene a quorum without the cooperation of the other. 

Today the Democratic Senate Conference offered a bi-partisan agreement to resume the people’s business in a fair manner – this offer was rejected by the Senate Republican Conference and Senator Espada.  

The Senate Majority offer included:

·         Democratic and Republican Presidents of the Senate alternating daily;

·         Floor Leaders alternating daily (from a different party than that day’s  
          President of  the  Senate)

·         6-Member Senate Conference Committee (3 Democrats, 3 Republicans)
          to  determine what legislation reaches the floor

The offer was modeled on agreements crafted by dozens of legislatures in similar circumstances with equal numbers of members representing two conferences.

Representing the Democratic Conference were President Pro Tempore Malcolm A. Smith, Conference Leader John L. Sampson, Deputy Majority Leader Jeff D. Klein and Finance Committee Chair Carl Kruger.

Representing the Republican Conference were Minority Leader Dean Skelos, Deputy Minority Leader Thomas Libous,  Finance Committee Ranking Member John DeFrancisco and Senator Pedro Espada.”