Cuomo Wants New State Senate Coalition To Push For Items On His Agenda
Will Governor Andrew Cuomo get along with the new team in charge of the State Senate? Perhaps feeling some pressure from some of his fellow Democrats, the governor said he wants the Senate's new leadership coalition to push for some of the items on his political agenda. Nick Reisman filed the following report for NY1.
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A major question mark hanging over the new coalition controlling the state Senate is whether it can muster the votes to pass a host of measures Governor Andrew Cuomo would like to see accomplished.
On Wednesday, Cuomo issued a strong warning to Republican leader Dean Skelos. The message: Don't stand in his way.
"If Senator Skelos is opposed to the agenda of the people of this state, then I will oppose him," Cuomo said.
A power-sharing agreement between Republicans and five independent Democrats allows the GOP to retain some power in the Senate next year. But the breakaway faction of Democrats, led by Senator Jeff Klein, wants to increase the state's minimum wage and reform campaign finance laws, along with stop-and-frisk arrests in New York City. All are measures Cuomo says he wants next year.
"They are wrong to oppose campaign finance reform," Cuomo said. "They are wrong to oppose raising the minimum wage. They are wrong to oppose reforming the stop-and-frisk policies in this state. They are wrong."
But Republicans are in a difficult place. Many in the GOP remain opposed to those policies and have faced withering criticism from the powerful Conservative Party chairman, Mike Long, over entering into the agreement in the first place.
Skelos told reporters he thinks his conference can still work with Cuomo.
"The governor has the right to point out what's priority to him," Skelos said. "We have our priorities, but we've shown again, and I know I'm being redundant, that we have been able to work together and resolve many of these differences."
But so far, the priorities of the Republican conference, which will not hold a numerical majority in the chamber next year, are vague.
"If we cut taxes, especially business taxes to create jobs, I think that's totally appropriate," Skelos said.
Republicans have worked well with the popular governor on a range of issues, from a new pension tier to allowing a vote on same-sex marriage that passed with some GOP support.