You Thought Things Would Go Smoothly in the Senate?

ALBANY—It's unclear how productive Wednesday will be at the Capitol, when the State Senate returns to session.

Negotiations among staff are still ongoing, relative smoothly, over a resolution amending the rules of the chamber, sources said. The sticking point seems to be resource sharing: how much will be allocated for staffing to various senators for their offices, and how much will be spent on member items. Those negotiations involve top leaders, and are further from resolution.

"We'll have to see what actually happens," a Democratic source said.

There is a strong movement in the conference to act on school governance legislation, and sources said that Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott started meeting yesterday with several state senators, including Senator John Sampson, who has been an opponent of mayoral control. (Liz reported this was scheduled for this morning, I heard it is on for tonight.) Stu Loeser, a spokesman for Bloomberg, said only that Walcott was "talking with and meeting with lots of people."

Three chapter amendments have been introduced, which I was told yesterday would be acted on as well as the State Assembly's bill, which keeps the mayor at the helm. They don't address some of the key elements of mayoral control: allowing the mayor to appoint a majority of members on the Panel for Educational Policy and letting those members serve fixed terms.

Today, that is more in flux, sources indicated. Since State Senator Daniel Squadron is on his honeymoon, he won't be attending the session called for tomorrow. Republicans don't want to provide a quorum to act on necessary legislation–even the school governance bill that they support–unless a firm agreement is reached on resource sharing and rules. Republicans don't want to give up this point of leverage.

Travis Proulx, a spokesman for Senate Democrats, said "the Senate is continuing to consider a number of issues that may potentially be taken up in Wednesday's session. Discussions are on-going, and the majority will conference Wednesday morning."

"Our priorities for this week are mayoral control and rules reform. It's unclear what's going to be taken up on the active list at this point," said Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senate Republicans. "Session is scheduled for 1 p.m. Until we see an active list, it's difficult to speculate on what legislation we're going to take Wednesday."

You Thought Things Would Go Smoothly in the Senate?