- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The Democratic leader of New York’s state Senate and the head of a breakaway faction of Democrats are criticizing each other over their continuing rift.

Despite earlier promises to work with traditional Democrats, the five-member Independent Democratic Conference is expected to again align itself with Senate Republicans during the legislative session that begins Wednesday.

Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says Monday that the Independent Democrats’ decision was “disappointing” and would allow Republicans to block Democratic priorities.

In response, Sen. Jeff Klein, leader of the breakaway Democrats, says Stewart-Cousins is “in no position to pass judgment” since Democrats failed to win a Senate majority.

Klein said last summer that his group would work with Democrats this year but reversed course after Republicans won a clear Senate majority in the fall elections.

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