For NY Senate’s Breakaway Democrats, It Pays to Be No. 2

In States, Voting On
- Updated

ALBANY — Diane J. Savino, a state senator from Staten Island, is not the chairwoman of the New York State Senate’s Codes Committee. But that has not prevented her from getting paid as if she were.

The same goes for Jose R. Peralta of Queens, the No. 2 on the Senate’s Energy and Telecommunications Committee who also recently received a chairman’s stipend.

Ms. Savino and Mr. Peralta belong to the Independent Democratic Conference, a coalition of eight Democratic senators who collaborate with Republicans to share leadership in the chamber. By doing so, members of the I.D.C. reap perks and power that they would not normally receive had they remained with the mainline Democrats.

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From Wikipedia

The Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) is a group of eight members of the New York State Senate who were elected as Democrats and are in a majority coalition with the Republicans in the chamber. The IDC is led by Jeffrey D. Klein, and also includes David J. Valesky, David Carlucci, Diane Savino, Tony Avella, Jose Peralta, Jesse Hamilton, and Marisol Alcantara.

Democrats lost control of the State Senate in the November 2010 elections, and removed Klein from his role as their chief election strategist. In 2011, Klein resigned as the Democrats’ deputy leader and formed the IDC with Valesky, Carlucci, and Savino. Democrats gained the majority of seats in the November 2016 elections, but in light of the increasingly-progressive lean of the Democratic conference, the IDC formed a coalition to keep Republicans in control of the Senate. Brooklyn Senator Simcha Felder, who is not a member of the IDC, conferences with the Republicans, giving the Republican Party the majority and outright control of the chamber.

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