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NY1 Exclusive: Rumblings Indicate Possible Shakeup in State Senate Leadership

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A change in leadership may be on the horizon in the New York State Senate after sources say discussions are under way to bring the two rival Democratic conferences back together, sources tell NY1.

The move would effectively end the power sharing arrangement between the Independent Democratic Conference and Senate Republicans.

Sources tell NY1 that Democratic state Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens was poised to meet with state Senator Jeff Klein of the Bronx on Wednesday and possibly offer Klein a co-leadership position.

Wednesday's meeting, however, was canceled.

Klein currently heads the Independent Democratic Conference, which broke away from the mainline Democrats over a dispute.

Gianaris is the chair of the New York State Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, the political arm of the state Senate Democrats.

If Klein and the four other members of the IDC were to join the other Democrats, it would give Democrats a majority in the state Senate, effectively ending the current arrangement and rendering the Republicans a minority.

Right now, Republicans control the senate with the IDC in a power-sharing arrangement.

Since those two conferences are sometimes ideologically opposed, that arrangement has come close to crumbling more than once.

Last month, the two sides clashed over whether to include campaign finance reform in the budget. The IDC wants it, but Republicans are opposed. In the end, a compromise was reached that enacts a public financing system only for the state comptroller's race. Most people who care about the issue were thoroughly disappointed with that outcome.

NY1 is being told lately there have been disputes within the Democratic conference since a growing number of senators want Gianaris and conference leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to offer Klein whatever he wants to come back. That had been resisted by leadership, but now, it appears as though those discussions are finally on the table.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Klein said, in part, "Senator Klein is not interested in cutting any political deals. He has spent the past week and will continue to spend his time in the 34th Senate District highlighting the accomplishments of the state budget." ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP