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Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos told reporters yesterday that his conference hadn't committed to passing any legislation that was part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's litmus test and hadn't made any "decision or agreement" on what legisaltion will come to the floor in this coming session.
Cuomo has said he will support any legislators who support his policy priorities, including a minimum wage hike and campaign finance reform; the Independent Democrats, who created a power sharing agreement with the Senate Republicans, publicly support those measures. Skelos, however, has been evasive and, at times, opposed to the measures. Republicans have to balance the wishes of their party base and their constituencies with their desire to stay in power.
Cuomo took to the airwaves today to tell Skelos to get behind his legislative agenda or fear facing his wrath.
â€śIf thatâ€™s true then weâ€™re going to have a problem, and weâ€™re going to have a problem sooner rather than later,â€ť he told Fred Dicker. â€śIf Sen. Skelos is opposed to the agenda of the people of New York State, then I will oppose him."
So far, Cuomo has played hands-off with the power-sharing arrangement in the Senate, even while the deal has been decried by Democrats as excluding minorities and being against the will of the people. But now that issues are involved, Cuomo is involved.
Cuomo talked tough last year during deals that needed Republican support even while his staff were working with the Republican Senate to pass legislation.
At the moment, Cuomo only seems to be reminding Skelos where his bread is buttered and who exactly has the 70 percent approval ratings.
Image of Gov. Andrew Cuomo courtesy of the Governor's Office.
State Government Editor of The Gotham Gazette