From the Morning Memo:

Lawmakers in the Republican and Independent Democratic Conference spent the week insisting the arrangement in which non-committee chairs receive paid stipends is a legal one.

Now, they could spend next week answering questions about an investigation reportedly be launched by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and prosecutors at the federal Eastern District of New York.

The investigation threatens to hijack what was expected to be a quiet end to the legislative session, due to wind down at the end of June, in which lawmakers were considering a rather light menu of issues such as mayoral control and Gov. Andrew Cuomo was largely leaving to the Legislature.

The development comes after NY1 initially reported this week Scheniderman was keeping his powder dry in the controversy as a referral from state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office — who had signed off on the stipend checks — was yet to materialize.

But that tone started to shift on Thursday when Gov. Andrew Cuomo was asked about the stipend controversy, when he put the onus not on the Senate leadership, but his political rival DiNapoli.

Eight lawmakers over the last two years have received payments for holding the official title of “vice chair” in the Senate, receiving checks normally designated for actual committee chairs. The lawmakers are listed on official payroll with the various committee chair titles next to their names.

Senate Republicans have insisted that was meant as a way to designate which lawmaker receives which stipend and not as a way to mislead who had which leadership post. Senate Democrats in the mainline conference have sought an investigation.

Enter Cuomo on Thursday, who has been loathe to comment publicly on the internal power dynamics of the Senate, where the eight-member IDC and Senate Republicans have been allied, much to the chagrin of liberal critics.

Instead, he pointed to DiNapoli, who has he had a feud over the years that has run hot and cold. It’s currently running hot again.

“It’s either legal or not legal. The comptroller of the state signed a check, or funded a payroll, or whatever he did,” Cuomo said Thursday. “He either did it legally or illegally. I believe his position is, It was legal.”

DiNapoli’s office, meanwhile, said it’s not up to the comptroller to determine legality of Senate stipends.

“The Comptroller’s office is not a court of law,” said spokeswoman Jennifer Freeman. “This issue needs to be decided by the Senate itself or the legal system.”

The back-and-forth came after DiNapoli issued a pair of reports this week critical of economic development spending and the agreed-upon state budget, questioning the transparency commitment in the Cuomo administration.

Even more fraught is the debate over procurement reform in the state Legislature, where lawmakers had sought to restore power to the comptroller’s office when it comes to oversight of economic development spending.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan before the controversy over stipends broke last week was confident a form of procurement reform would get done by the end of June.