Senate Republicans will ultimately be in charge, but they are willing to carve out a role for the Independent Democratic Conference, Sen. Thomas Libous said today.
IDC leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, is expected to be named co-coalition leader, while Republican Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, will be Senate president. The two conferences had jointly run the Senate the past two years.
The five-member IDC, which includes Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, is expected to retain its staff, stipends and leadership posts, but would lose its direct ability to bring legislation to the floor.
Libous said the new structure will work.
“There’s no question, as we said all along, that the Republicans have taken the majority,” Libous told Gannett’s Albany Bureau today. “I think we are being very respectful in dealing with the IDC. I think they will have a lot to say on the floor. We want to continue to work with them.”
He added, “I think the relationship will be just fine.”
Senate Democrats, who were unable to win a majority in the Nov. 4 elections, criticized the deal, but Klein said any agreement would continue the bi-partisanship in the narrowly divided, 63-seat chamber. The Senate is expected to vote on its rules for the two-year session Wednesday.
Libous said, “I think we’re also recognizing that the IDC is a viable conference. We want to continue to work with them in the best manner possible, and I think they want to do the same.”
Senate Republicans are holding a closed-door conference later today, with session set for Wednesday afternoon.