by Jeremy Moule
A group of breakaway State Senate Democrats have an agreement with Republican leaders to share control of the State Senate.
The Independent Democratic Conference had four members until today, when former Senate leader Malcom Smith joined the group. The other members are Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, David Valesky, and David Carlucci. None of the members represent the Rochester area.
Under the agreement, Klein will lead the IDC and Republican Senator Dean Skelos, currently the Senate president and majority leader, will lead the GOP conference. They'll share in a variety of duties, from setting the agenda to appointing people to boards. (For more details, see the press release here.)
Klein and Skelos will take turns as the Senate's temporary president. They'll alternate the job every two weeks.
A sixth Democrat, Simcha Felder, has said he'll caucus with Republicans.
Republicans currently have a slim majority in the Senate. But as a result of this year's elections they appeared poised to lose it. Two still undecided races certainly would have factored in. The power-sharing agreement sidesteps that issue, at least for now.