ALBANY—Malcolm Smith emerged from a closed door conference with the support of 32 elected Democrats, including the so-called gang of three renegades who had until this evening withheld their support.
Smith said he would be “conclusively” elected tomorrow, in a session presided over by State Senator Neil Breslin before David Paterson delivers the State of the State address.He was joined in conference by the gang of three, who then emerged by his side to announce details of the deal.
The agreement gives leadership posts to the gang of three — Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. will chair the Aging Committee, Senator Carl Kruger will chair the Finance Committee and Senator-elect Pedro Espada Jr. will be vice president of the Senate for urban policy, as well as vice chair of the rules committee and chairman of the Committee on Housing Construction and Community Development.
It is a rapid turn. Diaz said he could not support a leader who would bring gay marriage, which he opposes, to the floor. Esapda had called Smith a “scoundrel and a liar” several weeks ago, and Kruger has regularly toed the Republican line.
Smith also pledged several rules reforms, including measures that would record votes to discharge bills from committees and that pertain to amendments on the floor will be recorded (they are not currently under a rule known as ‘canvass of agreement’). More rules reforms were promised, and will be announced in two months after a commission studying the chamber makes recommendations, Smith spokesman Austin Shafran said.
Smith said that State Senator-elect Hiram Monserrate will be seated tomorrow, and will vote for Smith, despite a pending felony assault charge against him.
After Smith’s remarks, the majority leader to be retired to his office as Senators paid their respects, a la a scene from The Godfather.
Here’s a complete list of new leadership assignments:
Senator Eric Adams: Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs
Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr.: Elections
Senator Darrel Aubertine: Agriculture
Senator Neil Breslin: Insurance
Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr.: Aging
Senator Martin Malave Dilan: Transportation
Senator Tom Duane: Health
Senator Pedro Espada, Jr: Vice President of the Senate for Urban Policy; Vice Chair, Rules Committee, Chair, Housing Construction and Community Development
Senator Brian X. Foley: Ethics
Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson: Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections
Senator Shirley Huntley: Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
Senator Craig Johnson: Investigations and Government Operations
Senator Jeff Klein: Deputy Majority Leader
Senator Liz Krueger: Vice Chair Finance, Chair of Select Committee on Budget Reform
Senator Carl Kruger: Finance
Senator Hiram Monserrate: Consumer Protection
Senator Velmanette Montgomery: Children and Families
Senator George Onorato: Labor
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer: Education
Senator Kevin Parker: Energy and Telecommunications
Senator Bill Perkins: Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
Senator John Sampson: Judiciary
Senator Diane Savino: Civil Service and Pensions
Senator Eric Schneiderman: Codes
Senator Jose Serrano, Jr.: Tourism, Recreation and Sports Development
Senator Daniel Squadron: Cities
Senator William Stachowski: Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky: Higher Education
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins: Local Government
Senator Antoine Thompson: Environmental Conservation
Senator David Valesky: TBD