Two State Senate Factions Will Form Democratic Coalition

WXXI | June 25, 2014 | Column by Karen DeWitt

In an announcement that could have dramatic repercussions for the New York State Senate, a group of breakaway Democrats has agreed to rejoin the rest of the Democrats in the Senate, forming a new majority coalition that potentially leaves Republicans out in the cold.

In a joint statement, Governor Cuomo and Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein say the IDC has agreed to join in a coalition government with the rest of the Senate Democrats, giving them a potential majority after the November elections.

Governor Cuomo, in exchange for an endorsement from the left leaning Working Families Party , promised to reunite the two Democratic factions in order to achieve passage of public campaign financing, a women’s equality act with an abortion rights provision, and a measure to give college aid to children of undocumented immigrants.

Karen Scharff, with Citizen Action, which is a member of the party, is pleased.

“I’m very excited to hear that we’re going to have a Senate majority now that’s going to work for the needs of ordinary New Yorkers,” Scharff said.

IDC members have been facing primary threats  from Democratic challengers who’ve said they would join with the rest of the Democrats, if elected.

Even with the union, which will happen after election day, passage of the progressive items is not a sure thing in the Senate. At least two Democrats opposed some of the measures.

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