ALBANY - A new partnership in the Senate could lead to a number of changes in Western New York.
Last week, Senate Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference struck a deal to take control of the Senate. By doing so, the GOP and independent Democrats will share control of moving legislation and negotiating a state budget with Assembly speaker and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, said the parties share a number of the same priorities, including economic revitalization and job growth.
"This coalition builds on a bipartisan partnership that was formed two years ago. Our Senate Republican Conference has worked well with Gov. Cuomo and the members of the Independent Democratic Conference to pass on-time budgets and move the state in the right direction," Sen. Young said. "This agreement maintains regional balance and ensures that upstate is treated fairly and equitably, instead of being controlled by New York City-dominated political bosses."
The agreement will have the position of temporary president of the Senate alternating between Republicans and the IDC every two weeks. However, the GOP and the IDC will have to first vote for the leader and the new rule, with at least 32 votes. The partnership should provide at least 35 votes.
"Small business owners in New York have seen positive changes in Albany the past two years. Our hope is that this new functioning, responsive Senate Majority Conference will continue the progress made and acknowledge many hurdles still remain," said National Federal of Independent Business/New York state director Mike Durant. "NFIB/NY is committed to working with this new Senate Majority Conference and helping to lessen the financial burden on taxpayers, small business and provide for a sustained and prosperous economic future for New York."
Even with the partnership, though, Sen. Young said she will continue working toward what she has always worked for.
"I will keep working hard to protect the priorities of the people in my district by continuing to fight for more job creation and lower taxes," she said.