Jeff Klein


Fri June 27, 2014
Politics and Government

Senate IDC leader says group will maintain independence

IDC leader state Sen. Jeff Klein
Karen Dewitt WRVO file photo

Senate Independent Conference Leader Jeff Klein says even though his group now plans to realign with the Democrats in the Senate, he won’t rule out working with Republicans in the future.

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Thu June 26, 2014
Politics and Government

Two state Senate factions will form Democratic coalition

New York State Senate floor
-JvL- Flickr

Two Democratic factions in the New York State Senate say they are joining to form what could be a strong Democratic majority in the Senate, leaving Republicans, who up until now have ruled the chamber in a coalition government, out of power.

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Fri June 6, 2014

Valesky says Senate leadership coalition is successful in Albany

Dave Valesky is one of members in the state Senate's Independent Democratic Conference.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Democrats in New York state are vowing to take control of the Senate from the coalition leading it now, made up of Republicans and five breakaway Democrats.

Oneida’s Sen. Dave Valesky, a founding member of the Independent Democratic Conference, says he’s staying committed to the power sharing structure, even as some Democrats are calling on him to leave it.

Many members in the more progressive wing of the Democratic party, like Blue Carreker, campaign manager of Citizen Action of New York, wants Valesky to caucus with fellow Democrats.

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Wed April 30, 2014
Politics and Government

Drug legalization and abuse topics in Albany

Brett Levin Flickr

It was a day of drug policy discussion in Albany, as lawmakers held a forum on legalizing marijuana, proposed bills to combat heroin addiction and overdoses and made progress toward a medical marijuana program.

Sponsors of a bill to legalize marijuana held a forum that in part focused on the nuts and bolts of how to implement a system that would permit sales and impose taxes on the drug.

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Tue March 18, 2014
Politics and Government

Dream Act supporters vow to fight on

Assemblyman Francisco Moya speaks at a news conference held by supporters of the Dream Act at the Capitol Tuesday.
Karen DeWitt/WRVO News

Supporters of Dream Act legislation say they were “set up,” when a hastily arranged vote on the bill in the New York State Senate chamber late Monday led to the measure’s failure by just one vote.

The focus is now shifting to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Backers say they will try to get the governor to put the measure into the state budget.

Supporters of the measure to give state aid for college tuition to children of undocumented immigrants say they are disappointed and saddened that the measure lost in the Senate by just one vote.  

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Tue March 18, 2014
Politics and Government

Dream Act dies in New York State Senate

Wallyg Flickr

The Dream Act is dead for now in New York state, after the state Senate voted down the measure that would have granted college tuition aid to the children of undocumented immigrants. The 30 to 29 vote defeating the Dream Act left leaders of rival Democratic factions pointing fingers.

Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein , who is in a ruling coalition with the Republicans, says he’s disappointed that two Democrats joined the GOP to vote no on the bill to allow tuition aid for children of undocumented immigrants.

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Thu February 27, 2014
Politics and Government

State Senate ruling coalition gains a new member

The ruling coalition in the state Senate has grown by one member. Sen. Tony Avella, of Queens, has left the minority Democrats to join the governing coalition of Republicans and Independent Democrats.

Avella is a progressive-leaning Democrat who’s been called a maverick. He says he’s become convinced he can get more accomplished by joining the Senate’s ruling coalition, which includes all of the Republicans and a few break away Independent Democrats.  

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Wed October 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Senate IDC leader slammed by environmental group

An environmental group has given Senate Independent Democratic Leader Jeff Klein its 2013 "Oil Slick Award," claiming the Senate co-leader has done more than any other state legislator to harm the environment.

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Wed June 19, 2013
Politics and Government

21 arrested as progressive groups protest gridlock on key bills

New York State NOW President Zenaida Mendez is arrested along with 20 others outside IDC leader State Sen. Jeff Klein's office.
Karen DeWitt WRVO

There were several arrests at the state Capitol Tuesday. Advocates took out their anger and frustration on the Cuomo administration and leaders of the state Senate, after it became clear that a progressive agenda that includes abortion rights and public campaign financing is likely dead for the legislative session.

Government reform groups are angry at Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying he is giving up too soon on an anti-corruption agenda that includes public financing of campaigns and greater prosecution powers for the state’s district attorneys.   

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Tue March 5, 2013
Politics and Government

Lawmakers seek ban of dangerous supplement

Former MLB player Jose Canseco at the state Capitol.
Karen DeWitt/WRVO

A push to ban the fitness supplement DMAA brought a sports hero and parents who say they lost their son to the substance to the state Capitol.

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Wed January 30, 2013
Politics and Government

State Senate coalition leaders disagree over abortion rights

State Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos says he’s strongly opposed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Reproductive Health Act, saying it would lead to too many late-term abortions. Pro-choice lawmakers and advocates say they disagree with the senator’s interpretation.

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Wed January 16, 2013
Politics and Government

State Senate coalition passes first test

The experimental governing coalition in the New York State Senate passed its first test, on the first full day of session, when senators approved a sweeping gun control package urged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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Tue December 11, 2012
Politics and Government

New state Senate coalition defends itself

The newly-formed coalition of Republicans and Democrats, who will run the New York state Senate for the new term starting in January, made their first public appearance. They responded to criticism that the new majority coalition leaves out blacks and Hispanics. 

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Mon December 10, 2012
Politics and Government

New state Senate co-leader says coalition is not exclusive

The new governing coalition of the New York state Senate has received some criticism that it is leaving out minorities. But one of the two co-leaders of the Senate is defending the coalition, which includes five Independent Democrats and 30 Republicans.

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Fri December 7, 2012
Politics and Government

New state Senate co-leader says coalition can be more effective

The new co-leader of the New York stat Senate, Senator Jeff Klein, says he knows the new coalition of five Democrats and around 30 Republicans will have to prove itself in the coming months and deliver on key pieces of legislation. But he says they stand a better chance of success than if just the Democrats alone were in charge of the Senate.

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Wed December 5, 2012

Senate forms unprecedented new governing coalition

The leadership fight in the New York state Senate has been resolved, with a break-away Democratic faction joining with Republicans to form a new governing coalition that involves sharing the title of Temporary President of the Senate. 

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Fri November 30, 2012
Politics and Government

Lt. Governor says Senate should put aside partisanship

New York’s Lieutenant Governor weighed in on the leadership fight going on in the state Senate, saying the senators should put aside partisanship and try to work together.  

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Fri July 13, 2012
Politics and Government

Cuomo's endorsements of state senators remain up in the air

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will not necessarily endorse Democrats for election to the closely divided New York state Senate, even though he’s a Democrat. He says he’ll consider candidates on a case by case basis. That stance gives the politically savvy governor a number of options.

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Wed October 26, 2011
Regional Coverage

Erin Merryn's law comes to New York

As a youngster in Illinois, Erin Merryn learned about stranger danger and was warned about internet safety. She was taught to stay away from drugs.  The one thing she never learned about was how to deal with sex abuse, which was happening to her.

"I listened to the only message I was given," says Merryn. "And that was from the sexual predators who were raping and sexually abusing me as a child, telling me 'this is our little secret' and 'no one will believe you'."

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