Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: email@example.com
posted by Alan Greenblatt
NY Times :
ALBANY -- A week after Republicans wrested power of the State Senate away from Democrats, their thin majority appeared to collapse.Senator Hiram Monserrate, one of two Democrats who initially sided with Republicans to give them a 32-to-30 majority, has switched his allegiances again and plans to reaffirm himself as a member of the Democratic caucus, two people close to Mr. Monserrate said on Monday morning.
If each side has 31 members, that means neither the Democrats or Republicans would have the 32 votes necessary to change the Senate's leadership structure. Ordinarily the lieutenant governor would cast a tie-breaking vote, but that position has been vacant since Gov. David A. Paterson replaced Eliot Spitzer as governor in March 2008.
Mr. Monserrate's move, which was first reported by The Daily News, puts all the more focus on a court hearing Monday in Albany, where a State Supreme Court justice is scheduled to decide whether the Republican takeover was legal. If the court rules that the new coalition -- headed by Mr. Espada and Dean G. Skelos, a Republican from Long Island -- is illegitimate, it could ultimately restore Democrats to power.
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