Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said his conference in the upcoming year will aggressively push for new tax cuts, reduced business regulations, and education alternatives.
Skelos, during a Sunday morning radio appearance on supermarket mogul and and former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis' AM 970 radio show, made it clear he believes voters this past week rejected much of the progressive agenda the Democrats had pushed.
He spoke of the need to adequately fund the traditional public school system while at the same time making clear that charter schools need to be part of the solution, particularly in minority communities.
Skelos also said he will push to help parochial schools. While he didn't specifically reference it, the Senate GOP and Catholic Church last year pushed for enactment of an education investment tax credit that was blocked by the Assembly Democrats.
Skelos also hinted his conference might take aim at various state-funded social programs, saying they should only be available to those who "truly" need them in order to give them a "helping hand up, not a hand down."
He reiterated he believes his conference will work closely with Sen. Jeffrey Klein and his group of breakaway Democrats. He didn't say exactly what form that would take. The past two years, with the Republicans lacking enough members to make up its own majority, the GOP and Independent Democratic Conference formed an unprecedented bipartisan governing coalition to run the chamber.
The blueprint is being laid out for all to see:
The State Senate GOP majority, with the help of the Independent Democratic Conference, will push for an increase or complete elimination of the charter cap, they will push for a voucher program to further undercut the public school system, and they will look to cut social programs to people in need in order to fund more tax cuts for the wealthy.
Yesterday Jimmy Vielkind reported that Independent Democratic Conference head Jeff Klein said it's time to rethink what it means to be a Democrat:
“I think we have to take a step back, also, and maybe redefine what it means to be a Democrat.”
Since Klein and his fellow Democrats in the IDC plan on joining with the State Senate Republican majority in order to push through pro-charter school proposals, voucher programs, and social program cuts for people in need in order to fund tax cuts for rich people, we do indeed need to "redefine what it means to be a Democrat."
It seems to me that since Klein, Governor Cuomo and so many other Democrats push Republican programs and policies these days, the redefinition of "Democrat" is "Republican."