Holding special elections to fill coming vacancies in the Assembly and Senate in the middle of March could result in a series of dominoes that leaves lawmakers once again being denied a pay raise.

At issue is holding the special elections to fill vacancies in the state Senate that have become a linchpin in the push for Democrats to win majority control of the chamber and unity between the eight-member Independent Democratic Conference and the 23-member mainline conference.

If held in the middle of the budget negotiations, the Senate could be thrown into a state of chaos as Democrats seek to determine who will become committee chairs, determine leadership posts and face a likely legal challenge to the arrangement from Republicans.

That, in turn, could take weeks, if not months to sort out, upending a budget process that is due to be finalized by April 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, meanwhile, has communicated to the legislative leadership in the two houses that a pay raise would be off the table next year if a budget isn’t approved by the April 1 deadline, according to a source with direct knowledge of those conversations.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told reporters on Wednesday in Albany he supported seeing Democrats in charge of the chamber “as soon as possible.”

“I’ve always said as a Democrat I look forward to do the day of a Democratic Senate,” he said. “I hope they get it together, as soon as possible, particularly in light of what’s going on in Washington.”

But he also acknowledged it’s up to Cuomo when those elections should be held.

“I think that’s a better question for him when he’s calling it,” Heastie said.

Cuomo can’t call a special election until the legislative seats are vacant. In the Senate, the two districts in question are represented by Sens. George Latimer and Ruben Diaz, who were elected Westchester County executive and to the New York City Council respectively last month.

A letter from state Democrats last month laying out the Senate unity plan indicated the special elections won’t be held until after the budget process is completed. This has upset some liberal advocates who are pushing for Democrats to gain control of the Senate in early 2018 in order to have an impact on the budget.

A legislative pay raise has been held out as a carrot before to state lawmakers by Cuomo. The governor last sought to use the approval of a pay increase by a commission as a point of leverage in a late 2016 special session that failed to materialize in December of that year.

The Legislature has not received a pay increase since 1999, when their pay was increased to $79,500.