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Senate seats normally held by Democrats were empty at session Thursday

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Judge Denies Injunction; Coalition Senate holds session

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UPDATED 11:28 AM After a supreme court judge denied Senate Democrats request to issue an injunction to stop session, the new coalition Senate headed into chambers for session, but no official business was conducted. 

The session lasted less than a half hour with Senator Hiram Monseratte, Sen. Dean Skelos and Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. all speaking to the chamber.  No work could be completed because all the bill jackets were locked in the desk.  

Sen. Skelos spoke and urged Democrats to join the coalition and get the work of the people done.  He says session will resume on Monday at 3 p.m. and urged his colleagues to think about what work needs to be done in the time before that.

Sen. Espada says he will be meeting with his colleague and partner in government to get to legislation done that matters to the people.

This morning Senator Neil Breslin arrived at court with the lawyers and told Teresa Priolo that they are there to file the injuction and get a temporary restraining order.

The restraining order would have prevented Republicans from being able to go into session and would make Malcolm Smith the President pro tem.

Yesterday hundreds packed the lobby of the Senate floor waiting to see what would happen after Senate Republicans, led by their new coalition, vowed to go into session while Democrats refused.

A news brief had been scheduled for 2:30, and after waiting for more than two hours, Senator Dean Skelos, Sen. Pedro Espada Jr., and Sen. Hiram Monseratte all emerged.

Espada said that they needed more time because there were more Democrats who want to join the coalition.  

There had been rumors all afternoon that Monseratte may be changing his mind, but standing with Skelos and Espada he said the coalition was stronger than ever.

Just hours before Governor David Paterson had urged everyone in the Senate to go into session and take a vote to decide who their leader will be.

Paterson also said he hopes his fellow Democrats prevail and called for returning attention to the big issues facing the state.


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