July 15th, 2009
The fractured Democratic caucus still isn’t on the same page on mayoral control. The Assembly school governance bill was expected to be voted on today but it was not on the list of active bills printed last night.
Democrats are still unsure how to go forward on the bill. Some of their members are furious that they haven’t had greater input into how the bill was negotiated.
Negotiations with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office over potential amendments reportedly did not go well last night.
Sen. Kevin Parker, an outspoken opponent of Bloomberg and critic of mayoral control, said on Monday that he would have no problem delaying the vote on the bill to make sure that he and his colleagues were able to install more checks and balances.
“If we can do it by Wednesday that is great but as I said to you about† June 30, the deadline is arbitrary. Schooling is not being negatively affected.”
Parker insisted the two most contentious issues facing the legislation are, “whether the board on educational policy is an arbitrary board that basically serves as a staff meeting for the mayor or whether it has real input,” and “whether the chancellor has the ability to arbitrarily close schools.”
Parker said he thought the Assembly bill might be modified by amendments but said he expected a whole new bill needed to be produced.
There is likely enough support to pass the Assembly bill if it comes to the floor but it is unclear whether Democrats will let that happen.
The bill’s main sponsor in the Senate, Daniel Squadron, is out of town on his honeymoon. While his absence may not hurt the chances the bill will pass it may cause other problems for the Democrats.
Republicans are ready to use the fact that Democrats are short Squadron’s vote and unable to call a quorum themselves to push for rules reforms and equal member item distribution.By David King on July 15, 2009, 12:13 pm
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