By Tom Precious
ALBANY -- Senate Republicans may not have done so well with voters in November, but the deal hatched last week by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to still keep Republicans at least in partial control of the chamber was more than enough to keep the Long Island lawmaker as head of the GOP conference.
In Albany for a couple hours of closed-door talks and some lunch, Senate Republicans today backed Skelos as their leader for the two-year session beginning in January. [Skelos -- every two weeks -- will be alternating the title of Temporary President of Senate with Sen. Jeff Klein, the Bronx Democrat who brought four other Democrats along into a coalition deal to help keep the GOP at least in partial control of the Senate; Skelos could not say, when asked by a reporter today, whether he or Klein will start off with the title on January 1.]
Here is the victory statement this evening from Skelos:
"I am honored that the members of our Senate Republican Conference have voted unanimously today to reelect me as their leader. I appreciate their support and confidence, and look forward to being a strong voice for their priorities.
By partnering with Governor Cuomo and the Independent Democratic Conference, Senate Republicans have delivered the bipartisan results New Yorkers need and deserve, including two early budgets that reduced spending, enactment of a two property tax cap, middle-class income tax relief and an end to Albany dysfunction. The men and women of our conference are excited for the opportunity to be part of this new Senate Majority coalition, a unique partnership of Democrats and Republicans that will protect and build on the historic progress we’ve made over the last two years.
New Yorkers have made it very clear that they don’t care about Republican solutions or Democratic solutions, they just want results. Senate Republicans are committed to working with the Governor, Senator Klein, Speaker Silver and all of the members of the Legislature in the months and years ahead to improve the quality-of-life for all New Yorkers."