Statement By Senate President & Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith & Democratic Conference Leader John L. Sampson

Malcolm A. Smith

June 21, 2009

“Ahead of the Court’s call for the Senate to settle its leadership dispute by negotiating a governing agreement, the Senate Democratic Conference proposed a fair, reasonable and bipartisan solution that allows us to get back to passing legislation critical to millions of New Yorkers. Yet after three such proposals, Senate Republicans have failed to entertain any proposal that does not begin and end with complete control of the Senate in their hands.
We embrace the Governor’s call for a special session and support his choice of Justice Lippman to act as Presiding Officer. We also appreciate the willingness of former Lt. Governor Stan Lundine and former State Senator John Dunne to aid in negotiations. However, if Senate Republicans would simply come to the table and negotiate in good faith on the fair and bipartisan solution we have offered, mediation would not be necessary. Our proposals prove that we are willing to make necessary compromises, but no amount of mediation will change the fact that Senate Republicans continue to demand complete control of a Chamber that is tied at 31-31.
With dozens of bills to fund schools, local government operation and law enforcement awaiting action, we must put partisanship aside and work together to serve the best interests of the people of New York.”