Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, didn’t say today whether Senate Republicans would support a minimum-wage increase or other issues being pushed by their new partners, the Independent Democratic Conference.
“We’ve hadn’t made any decision or agreements as to what will come to the floor,” Skelos told reporters at the Capitol. “The only agreement that we have is that we will discuss all of the issues that are important to them. They will discuss issues that are important to us.”
Skelos held a meeting of Senate Republicans behind closed doors to discuss next year’s agenda and to get re-elected majority leader. But Skelos offered little as to what issues the IDC and Senate Republicans would pursue jointly.
The five-member IDC has talked up reaching agreements with Senate Republicans on increasing the minimum wage, reforming the campaign-finance system and improving women’s rights. Senate Republicans have balked at those issues this year and didn’t support them before the legislative session ended in June.
“We’ll have discussions about campaign-finance reform, and there’s no reason why we can’t come to some kind of agreement there,” Skelos said.
Skelos said the GOP conference, which represents mainly upstate and Long Island districts, remains focused on creating jobs, and he dismissed criticism from some Senate Democrats that the new GOP-IDC coalition isn’t diverse.
“Our conference and the IDC will represent all the people of the state,” Skelos said.
But uncertainty remains. The GOP-IDC coalition plans to rotate Senate presidents every two weeks. Asked who will be the president on Jan. 1, Skelos said with a smile, “I’m not sure.”