Independent Democratic Conference

The state capitol in Albany
Dave Lucas / WAMC

A faction of breakaway Democrats in the New York State Senate, known as the Independent Democratic Conference, has been in the news lately for receiving stipend payments for chairing committees that the senators in fact did not chair. What is the history of this power brokering group of senators and what may be in store for its future?

The New York state Capitol
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

After an embarrassing controversy over stipend payments, the beleaguered group of breakaway Democrats in the state Senate are trying to change the subject.

New York state Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Democrats in the New York state Senate remain hopeful that they will regain the numerical majority and control of the chamber after a special election is held later this month. But Governor Andrew Cuomo dampened those expectations, in remarks made in New York City today.

Tensions between opposing groups of Democrats in the New York state Senate reached a flash point this week- over whose   faction would be allowed to present their budget priorities for a floor debate, in an exchange that included some racially-charged name calling.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says any end to the Democratic schism in the state Senate isn't going to happen until next year.

The Senate is now controlled by a coalition of Republicans and a faction of independent Democrats who left their party’s main conference.

Cuomo’s vowed to return Senate control to the Democrats, he’ll heal the split –or- work to defeat Republicans and independent Democrats in the fall election.

Jeff Kl
Karen DeWitt

Democrats in the New York state Senate say they are taking Governor Andrew Cuomo at his word to help them regain the majority in the Senate, despite some indications that the governor might be walking back some of the promises he made at the Working Family Party’s  convention Saturday night.

Independent Democratic Conference / New York State Senate

The newest member of the state Senate's ruling coalition is getting leadership positions on the chamber's environmental and social services committees.

Sen. Tony Avella of Queens joined the group of breakaway Democrats who share control of the Senate with Republicans on Wednesday. He had been in the traditional Democratic caucus.

The Senate leadership said Thursday Avella will become chairman of the social services committee and vice chairman of the environmental conservation committee.

Karen DeWitt

There were several arrests at the New York State Capitol Tuesday. Advocates took out their anger and frustration on Cuomo and leaders of the State Senate, after it became clear that a progressive agenda that includes abortion rights and public campaign financing are likely dead for the legislative session.

IDC Takes Proposed Campaign Finance Bill On The Road

May 9, 2013
WAMC/Allison Dunne

A group of New York state Senators held a public hearing Wednesday on a proposed campaign finance reform bill. They say with the most recent lawmaker names that have emerged in connection with a federal corruption investigation, the need for such reform is all the more urgent.

Office of NYS Senator David Carlucci

A New York State Senator who is part of the Independent Democratic Conference will announce the IDC’s campaign finance reform package later this afternoon. The proposals come in the wake of a far-reaching political corruption scandal in the state.

NY leaders meet, continue talks on state budget

Mar 18, 2013

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders hope to announce an agreement on the third straight on-time budget.

But in Albany budget negotiations, all deals hinge on the final one. After closed-door meetings Sunday, all sides claim they are a good distance apart.

Some difficult sticking points are whether to raise the minimum wage to as much as $9, whether to adopt business tax cuts, and whether to extend a "temporary" income tax increase for the second time.