Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two Votes for Espada?

One thing the Republican Conference seems to have overlooked in turning over the post of President Pro Tempore to Senator Espada is the possibility that he will be entitled to two votes in certain circumstances.

Under the New York State Constitution (Art. IV, § 6) the President Pro Tempore assumes all of the powers of the Lieutenant Governor if that office is vacant, which it has been since David Patterson took the Governor's seat last year. The most important of those powers is to cast a vote to break a tie in the Senate.

This could well mean that Espada would have power to cast an initial vote to create a tie in tight votes, and then cast a second vote to determine its outcome. If Hiram Monserrate defects back to the Democrats, as some are speculating he might, the Senate will be split 31-31 - and Espada may become the most important man in Albany.

1 comment:

mahoneyw said...

I think the Dems can still hold everything up if they wanted. Their scenario called for him breaking a 31-31 tie with his powers as LG. What if the Dems got only 30 people to vote on each bill? He'd never be able to vote, since the LG can only vote in the event of a tie. Since 32 members are needed to pass a bill (that being the "majority elected"), their agenda would get frozen.