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New York State Senate Control Update New York State Senate Control Update

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New York State Senate Control Update

New York State Senate control remains in flux after the leader of a breakaway group of four Democratic senators has said he favors creating a coalition with Republicans.

State Sen. Jeffrey Klein leads the Independent Democratic Conference, which has three other members. Though all Democrats, the group has maintained that they might caucus with either party. With Democrats currently holding 30 seats to the GOP's 31 -- and with the outcome of two races still undetermined -- the group's final decision will be key in determining who holds Senate control.

The New York Times:

The exact makeup of the Senate will not be known until the last ballots are counted in two still-unresolved races. But regardless of the outcomes, only a seat or two will separate the two parties, and Mr. Klein is pushing for what he described as a "bipartisan coalition," made up of his breakaway foursome and the Senate Republican caucus, to control the Senate.

"I think we can actually show that our democracy in New York State does not have to be chaotic," Mr. Klein said in an interview in his district office in the Bronx on Tuesday. "It could work, Democrats and Republicans working together to get things done."

But the coalition they're proposing would actually put neither party in control.

"We had a deeply dysfunctional legislatiure the last time the Senate Democrats were in control," said Eric Soufer, the communications director at the Independent Democratic Conference, in an interview. "That's a significant motivating factor for our members to pursue a bipartisan coalition governing structure in the Senate this time around."

But that doesn't mean they want to put Republicans in control, either, but rather that the group wants to continue existing with neither Democrats or Republicans holding a majority.

"We have a laser-like focus on making our conference a permant conference and governing with that in mind," he said.

And Klein made similar comments, saying that "the rules of the Senate is what governs what we do every day. And we can do something, I think, very bold, very creative, something that I think is going to work very well in the New York state Senate by creating a third conference, the Independent Democratic Conference, as a permanent conference in the rules."

Stay tuned -- with two outstanding races remaining uncalled and in the process of recounts, the Republicans could still hold the majority outright by winning one of them.

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