Albany’s New Frontier: What Happens When Senate Democrats Need Republican Votes?

ALBANY—For all their rhetoric about bipartisanship, some State Senate Democrats are making ominous noises about what might happen if they pass a bill re-authorizing mayoral school control–a position supported by Majority Leader Malcolm Smith–on the strength of votes that their Republican colleagues seem willing to provide.
“Clearly, we’ll have to cross that divide when we get there,” said State Senator Bill Perkins, a vocal opponent of the current system of school governance. “Obviously, it’s an ominous development that does not spell unity and, quite the opposite, threatens a precedent that I think is not good at all.”
After admitting this week that there was a “split” within the Democratic conference, Smith suggested he would work with Republicans on the issue if needed.