Assembly Democrats in a coalition dubbed the “reform caucus” met privately for about 30 minutes with Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie this afternoon as he appears poised to become the next speaker of the chamber.

Heastie, along with the other members, emerged from the meeting to head to the larger conference-wide meeting that’s expected to include the announcement on whether a leadership vote will be held Tuesday or next week.

The lawmakers who exited the meeting said little about what was discussed.

“Meetings with members are between members,” Heastie said. “It was a great exchange between members.”

Meanwhile, it’s likely a vote will be held on Tuesday for Heastie’s election as Sheldon Silver’s resignation from the speaker’s office takes effect at 11:59 this evening.

“The vote should be held when the members of our conference decide it should be held,” Majority Leader Joe Morelle said. “The rules provide for tomorrow. I don’t want to presuppose what the members are going to decide.”

Nevertheless, it appears almost certain Heastie will become the next speaker of the chamber even as Queens Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan continues to stay in the race.

“They were clearly coming together in terms of support for him,” Morelle said.

Morelle defended the process by which the next speaker — one of the most powerful officials in state government — is being selected by the 105-member conference.

It’s been an insular process to replace Silver, with members meeting behind closed doors at the Capitol, while Heastie has built support through winning the backing county Democratic chairs.

“There has been a public airing,” Morelle said. “There has been a lot of news articles, a lot public discussion.”

Silver’s legal troubles have renewed calls for ethics and transparency reforms in the Assembly. Heastie earlier today promised more accountability and oversight on the use of per diems as well as limits on what lawmakers can earn in private income in elected speaker.

“At the end of the day, the members have to make a decision about how to organize the house,” Morelle said. “We’re doing that in a way that’s the best way to do it.”