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In op-ed, Cuomo lays out “litmus test” for Senate support (UPDATED)

Posted By Jon Campbell On December 5, 2012 @ 11:13 am In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

A day after his spokesman said a new Senate power-sharing coalition was an “internal legislative matter,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo is out with an extensive op-ed surveying the Legislature’s upper house and laying out a 10-point “litmus test” for his support.

In a piece set to run in tomorrow’s Times Union of Albany [1], the Democratic governor says his opinion of the new Senate coalition will evolve over time. He took a jab at the Senate Democratic conference, which appears headed back to the minority despite picking up seats on Election Day, writing that their “dysfunction was legendary” when it held the majority in 2009 and 2010.

The Senate GOP and the five-member Independent Democratic Conference came to an agreement yesterday to share authority over the chamber.

“The Democratic Conference was in power for two years and squandered the opportunity, failing to pass any meaningful reform legislation despite repeated promises,” Cuomo wrote. “The Democratic Conference dysfunction was legendary and the current leadership has failed to come to a cooperative agreement with
(Sen. Jeff Klein’s) IDC faction.”

UPDATED: Senate Democrats’ spokesman Mike Murphy responds:

“This past session and through recent elections, the Senate Democratic Conference laid out a progressive agenda New Yorkers responded to and have overwhelmingly demanded through their votes on Election Day. The Governor has now presented a similar agenda including many issues the new Republican Coalition has opposed. Senate Democrats will continue to lead the fight on this progressive agenda, and we will hold the Senate Republican Coalition accountable until New Yorkers get the progressive change they deserve.”

Cuomo said his opinion of the Senate coalition “will be based on how those senators function as a leadership group and perform on the important issues for the people of the state.”

He wrote:

Specifically, the “litmus test” for my support starts with support of
the following ten issues:
1. The property tax cap that has finally imposed fiscal discipline
on local governments and provided relief to taxpayers
2. Campaign finance reform
3. Increasing the minimum wage
4. Reform of New York City’s “stop and frisk” policy
5. Environmental protection and initiatives that address our
changing climate
6. The education and Medicaid budget rate formulas that provided
fiscal predictability and sustainability
7. The tax cuts that brought taxes on the middle class tax to the
lowest rates in 58 years
8. Education reforms – like teacher evaluations – that bring more
accountability to our schools and continued improvement to our SUNY
system
9. Protecting a woman’s right to choose
10. Limited and highly regulated casinos introduced as economic
development generators


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URLs in this post:

[1] piece set to run in tomorrow’s Times Union of Albany: http://blog.timesunion.com/opinion/cuomo-mainline-democrats-squandered-the-opportunity/23220/