Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gov. Cuomo Promises To Oppose Skelos If Senate GOP Balks At His "Litmus Test" Agenda

Gov. Cuomo delivered a stern message to Senate Republicans this morning – pass my agenda or else.

Cuomo apparently wasn’t happy to read in the Daily News and elsewhere that Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos wasn’t ready to embrace legislation raising the minimum wage and other items sought by the governor and the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference.

Skelos’ comments appeared to contradict those of IDC Chairman Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), who said the GOP had agreed to move on those items as part of their new leadership pact.

“If that’s true, than we are going to have a problem, “ Cuomo said on an Albany radio station Wednesday.

“And we’re going to have a problem sooner rather than later. My position is very clear.”

Cuomo has refused to intervene in the Senate leadership battle but soon after the GOP-IDC deal was announced, the governor published a “litmus test” of issues that he said would determine how it should be judged. That list included a raise in the minimum wage, campaign finance reform and legislation to decriminalize the public possession of small amounts of marijuana (which Cuomo refers to as stop and frisk reform).

“It is not my place as a governor to get involved in a Democratic power squabble, struggle, call it whatever you will,” Cuomo said.

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