Emotions are running a bit high these days at the Capitol as lawmakers struggle to finish the state budget.
Sen. Ruben Diaz, D-Bronx and Sen. Kevin Parker, D-Queens, had a dust up on the floor of the Senate late Tuesday afternoon following a vote on a bill that would send youthful offenders to Office of Child and Family Services detention facilities after it was determined there were no other alternatives.
Diaz and Sen. Carl Kruger, D-Brooklyn, were set to vote against the measure, which would have failed without their votes, but the bill was pulled.
Parker, who isn’t shy about expressing his opinions, offered some colorful language in response to Diaz’s no vote.
According to Diaz’s account, Parker swore at him in anger.
“Senator Parker was saying eff this, eff that,” Diaz said. “In front of the ladies. It’s uncalled for. If I want to vote no on something nobody is going to tell me to eff me. What are we, babies?”
Parker doesn’t deny the encounter took place, but claims it was a private conversation.
In a statement, Diaz disputes that.
“Senator Kevin Parker’s use of obscene language directed toward me did not take place ‘member to member’ as he claimed,” Diaz said. “It happened in the Senate Chambers, publicly in full view of other Senators and several Senate staff.
Diaz, speaking on the floor immediately after the exchange, asked that Parker be reprimanded for using the language. So far, he has not been formally censured.
The bill in dispute was voted on again later Tuesday evening and passed with Diaz’s vote, 32-29.