State Senate Dems propose deal with GOP

State Senate Democratic leaders held a rally Saturday in hopes of reaching an agreement to end the stalemate in Albany.The rally came after a closed-door

MANHATTAN - State Senate Democratic leaders held a rally Saturday in hopes of reaching an agreement to end the stalemate in Albany.

The rally came after a closed-door session with Rev. Al Sharpton in Harlem, and a day after Gov. David Paterson said an agreement must be reached soon, or else he will order the state Senate into a special session on Wednesday.

Top Democrats say one Democrat and one Republican should simultaneously rule the state Senate floor for now, and leadership positions should be rotated.

State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), the current majority leader, says Republicans will not go along with the Democrats' deal.

Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) says he wants to get the legislative body into session to solve a host of major issues before the chamber.

"We are concerned about passing the people's agenda - vacancy decontrol, tax relief and school governance," Smith says.

A move by State Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens) and Pedro Espada (D-Bronx) nearly two weeks ago ousted then-majority leader Malcolm Smith, giving Skelos and the Republicans de facto control of the state Senate. The legislative body hasn't met in a formal session since Smith's ouster.

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