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On the Senate Docket Today: Mayoral Control and Rules Reform

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

After weeks of deadlock, the New York State Senate will hold another regular session today.

The agenda is expected to include legislation that would renew mayoral control of New York City schools, and rules reform. But Blair Horner, of the New York Public Interest Research Group, says the real test for bipartisan reform, will come with how senators choose to distribute 85-million dollars in member items. Those are funds that go to senators' districts for special projects.

HORNER: Usually, 90 percent of the money would go to the Senate majority party and only table scraps to the minority. It's fundamentally unfair and an outrageous system.

REPORTER: The Democrats regained the majority last week after dissident Democrat, Pedro Espada, chose to come back to the party fold after three weeks of legislative gridlock.

But Democrats will be down by at least one Senator today: freshman Senator Daniel Squadron got married over the weekend and is not expected to be there.

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