When it comes to how and if the newly formed Senate coalition will actually function, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s taking the wait-and-see approach.

Cuomo told reporters at a cabinet meeting earlier this afternoon that he wants a Senate that operates smoothly and passes his legislative agenda.

But as to how this experiment will actually work, the governor says he’s in the same boast as the rest of us.

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Cuomo said. “Obviously I want what the people of the state want which is a government body that operates — that is conducts itself professionally. We’ve seen the alternative and it was terrible. Does this accomplish that. I don’t know. I don’t know if anybody knows. I don’t know if they know. I get the concept, but I don’t know who it actually works in practice.”

The governor wrote an op/ed for the Times Union today that outlines his “litmus test” for the coming legislative session that includes a variety of goals, including raising the state’s minimum wage and reform stop and frisk arrests.

“I think it’s close to inarguable to any premise in this building that that was not a good period of government. The label of dysfunction, all the shenanigans that went on, it was not a good period,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo also used the op/ed to criticize both Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats for past dysfunction.

“Those two questions, how does it function… how well it functions and how they vote on the issues that are important and I want to wait and get the data on both of those things,” Cuomo said.

The five-member Independent Democratic Conference and the Senate Republicans announced yesterday they were forming a majority coalition that would include a rotating Senate presidency every two weeks between Sen. Jeff Klein, the IDC leader, and Dean Skelos, the outgoing majority leader who will have the title of conference leader.

How that works in legislative and budgetary negotiations — ala “four men in a room” versus three — remains to be seen, Cuomo said.

“They say they’re going to alternate leadership,” he said. “I don’t know how they think that’s going to work vis-a-vis myself and the other chamber.”

He added that he did not speak with Klein recently until Tuesday after the announcement hit.

“I wanted to understand exactly what it meant and what they were saying,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo did not endorse a full Democratic take over of the chamber this year.
Circling back to his op/ed in the TU, Cuomo reiterated he cares more about the issues legislators support and vote for, not hwo they organize themselves.

“What it was trying to say in the piece was the politics go back a long period of time, there are negative characteristics of the last Democratic leadership there’s no doubt, there’s also negative leadership of Republican leadership which goes back decades and I was also disappointed in Republican leadership they didn’t take up minimum wage, campaign finance, etcetera,” Cuomo said.