© 2024 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New state Senate co-leader says coalition can be more effective

The new co-leader of the New York stat Senate, Senator Jeff Klein, says he knows the new coalition of five Democrats and around 30 Republicans will have to prove itself in the coming months and deliver on key pieces of legislation. But he says they stand a better chance of success than if just the Democrats alone were in charge of the Senate.

Senator Klein, of the break-away Independent Democrat Conference, says when the traditional Democrats were in power in the Senate in 2009 and 2010, they failed to produce on many issues important to Democrats, including, same sex marriage and independent redistricting.  

Klein, who was deputy Senate majority leader at the time, says the in-fighting got personal and he wants to move beyond that, though he still has some harsh words for some of his former Senate Democratic colleagues.   

“There’s some in that conference, and it’s a very small group, that are not serious about governing,” Klein said. “They make everything personal. They make everything an affront.”

Klein says Senate Republicans reached out to his Independent Democratic Conference to form the joint coalition government.  He says the rest of the Democrats did not.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.