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Colorado, Utah and Oklahoma all finished up their elections Tuesday, and Medicaid expansion in OK appears to have passed. And, a Supreme Court ruling could open the door for more public money to religious institutions.

Leadership Chaos at Capitol Leaves Key Issues In Jeopardy

June 12, 2009

Albany, NY — With control of the state Senate in question, action on key issues such as worker rights, tenant rights, and control of city schools hangs in the balance. Passage of these measures could depend on which party ends up in control next week and how much longer the leadership fight drags on.

Jose Davila has been tracking issues in Albany for the New York Immigration Coalition and says reform bills on those issues were all making legislative progress until Monday, when control of the senate ended in chaos.

"We were very close to seeing passage of some of these worker rights bills, pro-tenant bills and reforms on the issue of mayoral control of New York City schools. Now, with the ugly politics, all of these critical reforms are in jeopardy."

Rochester billionaire Tom Golisano has been predicting more Democrats will jump ship and join the Republican coalition, but they did not turn out enough members for the Senate to do business on Thursday. That left Charlie Albanetti, with Citizen Action, angry.

"We are incredibly upset that the Republican Majority and a billionaire who left the state are all turning their backs on the people of New York; people who need the legislature to be in session and the government to work for them."

Democrats contend the Republican takeover was illegal, but one court refused to rule on the matter Thursday. Both sides are expected to appear in another Albany court today, while negotiations over which party will be in control Monday are expected to continue through this weekend.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY