66 / 44
      64 / 49
      62 / 42

      Senator Valesky supports proposed coalition with Republicans

      The breakaway Independent Democratic Conference says it's ready to form a coalition with Republicans even as the traditional Democratic caucus is still trying to win majority control.

      Sen. David Valesky of Central New York says Wednesday that it's "imperative" for the four-member group to consider creating a bi-partisan bloc to run the Senate.

      Valesky is urging more discussion with Republicans on the "bold new model."

      ??As a legislator who has always placed a premium on bipartisan cooperation to produce results for the people of Central New York and the entire State, I believe the time is right for a true bipartisan coalition to govern the Senate,?? Valesky said in a statement to CNYCentral. ??It is imperative that we do all we can to avoid a return to the days of dysfunction and chaos for which the Senate became known.??

      A count of absentee ballots continues in two races that could determine if Republicans maintain a narrow majority or Democrats gain the 32 seats usually needed to control the chamber.

      But the "independent Democrats" have the power to deliver a majority of votes to the Republicans. They broke from the traditional Democratic conference two years ago, blaming its leadership for dysfunction in the Senate.