Jun 24, 2009 7:32 PM GMT
Governor David Paterson of NY has called the deadlocked NY state senate into a special session for a second day in a row to handle a number of pressing issues the legislature failed to resolve during their regular session, which ended earlier this month. In ordinary sessions, the senate and assembly leaders are able to determine which bills will be debated and voted on. During special sessions, the governor alone has the authority to decide which votes will be considered.
The governor has included same-sex marriage among the issues to be considered in the senate today. Unfortunately, if today's session is anything like yesterday's, gay NYers won't have any better chance of getting a marriage license at the end of the day than they have had in the past. It's still unclear which party is in charge in the state senate, where neither party has a majority.
The two sides, like feuding junior high schoolers refusing to acknowledge each other, began holding separate legislative sessions at the same time. Side by side, the parties, each asserting that it rightfully controls the Senate, talked and sometimes shouted over one another, gaveling through votes that are certain to be disputed. There were two Senate presidents, two gavels, two sets of bills being voted on.
Complicating the matter even further, Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage, suggested he may bolt the Democratic conference because of Paterson's inclusion of the gay marriage bill in a special session called for today.
Diaz (D-Bronx) and Kruger were later seen meeting with Republican lawmakers in their conference room. One flip would give the GOP-led coalition a quorum to control the Senate.
"Maybe I solve the whole the problem [today]," Diaz said. "Maybe we ... decide who's really in control."