Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Senate leaders vow to work with Paterson -- Newsday.com

New Senate leaders vow to work with Paterson -- Newsday.com

ALBANY - The new leaders of the State Senate, Dean Skelos of Rockville Centre and Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx, vowed Tuesday to work with Gov. David A. Paterson to pass legislation before the regular session ends June 22.

"We want to work with the governor and get things done," Skelos told TALK 1300 radio in Albany. "We need to tone down the rhetoric and get things done for the public."

Skelos said he and Espada would ask for the resignation of the Senate secretary Angelo Aponte, the top staffer. The senators accused Aponte of acting beyond his authority, running roughshod over senators.

Espada, also on TALK 1300, said he hoped same-sex marriage would come to a vote. Skelos, who opposes the bill, didn't disagree. "We should vote up or down on bills, that's part of the reforms we've brought," Skelos said.

The pair also said they want to tackle mayoral control of New York City schools, property tax relief and economic development.

Monday night, Paterson blasted the Senate coup d'etat as a "dereliction of duty." However, he also said he would recognize whomever is ultimately recognized as Senate chief.

Espada and Skelos also admitted they expected a legal challenge from former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D- St. Albans).

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