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Will fracking split state Senate's GOP majority as Upstate starts to ponder the full effects of a property tax cap on schools and other services?

Dec 13, 2010 11:35 am
With New York's GOP set to take the same slim 32-30 majority state Democrats have had for the last two years, given a current judge's ruling against further recounts in a close Long Island race holds, all eyes are now on how incoming Governor Andrew Cuomo will work with one Republican and one Democratic chamber of the legislature, come January. State pundits are beginning to ponder how such a split between Upstaters, who will make up all of the Senate north and west of Westchester, barring two Democrats in urban Syracuse and Buffalo, and Downstate interests will be playing out, particularly without disgraced Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, a master of spreading pork barrel spending amongst his upstate supporters, at the helm. And furthermore, with a two percent cap on property tax, meaning all local town and school, and most county spending, starting to seem locked in for the coming term, with both the GOP and Cuomo backing such a plan. The chief wrench in the works, notes Nick Reisman of the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin in a particularly astute bit of commentary today, may very well be "geographic conflicts over drilling for natural gas," which has most of its supporters in the Republican caucus, who are touting the controversial fracking process as a must-do for Upstate economic development, at present. But also some leading opponents.

For Resiman's piece, click here and stay tuned over the coming months.