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State Senate Republicans agreed yesterday to a power sharing arrangement with five dissident Democrats led by Jeffery Klein. Instead of being run by a majority leader, the body will be led by a revolving presidency held by Republican Dean Skelos and Klein. Leaders of the GOP and the Democratic group would have “joint and equal authority” over bills, committee assignments, appointments and budget negotiations. Some legislation the coalition is likely to back includes a minimum-wage increase and more lenient marijuana laws. Mayor Bloomberg's spokesman called the coalition “an example of bipartisan cooperation at its best,” but some Democrats criticized the arrangement a "coup." The other four Democrats are Malcolm Smith, Diane Savino, David Valesky, and David Carlucci.

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On November 6th, voters elected a majority of Democrats in the Senate, because of the failure of the Senate Republicans to reform our legislative process and advance the progressive agenda that most New Yorkers support. It would be tragic if a ‘coalition’ of Republicans, party-switchers and ‘independent’ past failed leaders thwarted that agenda. Right now, it all just looks like another Albany backroom deal to empower a select few Democrats while forestalling the Senate Republicans’ inevitable fall from power . We know what the coalition members got for making this deal, but it remains to be seen what, if anything, New Yorkers will get.