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Senate session held up by last minute mayoral control talks

The Senate session scheduled for, well, right now, has been stalled by both parties, which have retreated to discuss what to do about mayoral control, according to Politicker.

Throughout the week, Democratic lawmakers have offered conflicting clues to the bill’s fate, and their forecasts soured after meeting with two of Mayor Bloomberg’s deputy mayors last night.

Senator John Sampson, the Democratic conference leader, told a Daily News reporter that he has “no idea” what will happen with mayoral control today. Senator Carl Kruger, never one for subtlety, told Politicker that the Assembly’s school governance bill, which preserves the bulk of the 2002 law, is “DOA.”

Senate Democrats have said they would vote for the Assembly’s bill, provided that Bloomberg and Senate Republicans agree to pass one of the chapter amendments proposed by Sens. Shirley Huntley, Bill Perkins, Martin Dilan, and Malcolm Smith. And there’s the rub: the mayor and Republican senators oppose all of the bills.

To make things weirder, the Republicans and mayor are joined in their opposition by members of the Parents Commission, a group seeking substantial changes to mayoral control. On Tuesday night, the group sent a letter to senators urging them to vote against the three chapter amendments introduced on Sunday night as well as the Assembly’s bill. The group objects to provisions in all of the bills that would place two-year term limits on members of the parent councils, citing the empty seats that already exist on councils and the difficulty they have in filling them.

“In our estimation, this provision would make it considerably more difficult, and would lead to excessive attrition and fewer experienced parents in these seats,” the letter stated. “The collective memory and the historical perspectives embodied in long-time parent leaders are critically important for CECs to function effectively.”

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