When Andrew Cuomo came to Albany, there were rumblings that he wanted a new Speaker of the state Assembly, since Sheldon Silver had been a thorn in the side of so many of his predecessors. For his part, Mr. Silver deferred to the popular governor, but had begun to flex his muscles a little more this year.
Today however Mr. Cuomo praised Mr. Silver, and said the two are getting along just fine.
“The Speaker and I have a very productive and collegial relationship,” he told Fred Dicker during his radio show. “We have handled a lot of difficult issues together and I tell you, our relationship has only gotten stronger. I think that is true in both houses. It has only been 15 month but it has been an intense 15 months. We have gone thorough a lot and we’ve gotten to know each other and we personally have a level of rapport but more I think professionally we have established solid collegial relationships that have been tested in difficult circumstances and we’ve both seen how the other has operated and I think the benefit has been for the people of the State of New York.”
The question was in the context of who will be the next majority leader. The current holder of the position, Ron Canestrari, is retiring, and Joe Morelle is considered next in line for the post–which is second in command to the speaker–but Mr. Morelle is considered close to Mr. Cuomo, something that Mr. Dicker considered a negative.
Mr. Cuomo said he didn’t think however that would be a black mark on Mr. Morelle’s resume.
“I would be shocked if the Speaker had anything other than a positive reaction to someone who would get along with me in a collegial way because he himself has that relationship.”
But that doesn’t mean that Mr. Cuomo has signed on entirely to the Silver agenda. For example, he declined to come down either way on the Speaker’s efforts to increase the minimum wage.
“It is a matter that I am talking to both houses about, Fred. The Senate is against it, the Assembly favors it. I understand the arguments on both sides and we’ve been talking about it. We will continue to talk about it and we will see if we get anywhere.”
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