Coalition claims new way to take NY Senate

ALBANY - A coalition of Republicans and a dissidentDemocrat say they can take control of New York's Senate despite a31-31 split with the Democratic conference by using a section ofthe constitution that they interpret as giving their leader twovotes.

The coalition argues that the constitution provides Sen. PedroEspada, who they say they elected Senate president on June 8, onevote as a Bronx senator and one as acting lieutenant governor.

The constitution doesn't address the two-vote question.

Robert Ward of the Rockefeller Institute of Government saysthree constitutional experts in a 2008 symposium agreed the head ofthe Senate in this situation might just get two votes.

The Democratic conference, however, says court cases rejectthat.

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