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New York Senate to Be Led by Democrat-Republican Coalition

The New York Senate will be led by a coalition of Republicans and a group of five Democrats who broke from the party to form their own caucus, marking the first time power in the chamber will be shared.

The breakaway Democrats will create a permanent caucus called the Independent Democratic Conference and share power with the Republicans over the senate agenda and state budget, according to a joint statement e-mailed today by both groups. Jeff Klein, the Bronx Democrat who leads the caucus, and Dean Skelos, the Republican leader from Long Island, will alternate every two weeks as president. The senate president decides which votes will come to the floor.