NY Senate splits 31-31, power share still sought

ALBANY - (AP) - Dissident Democrat Hiram Monserrate isforcing a leadership change in the Democratic conference as acondition of his return to the fold from an opposition coalition hecemented last week.

The Queens Democrat says he is back with the Democraticconference, seven days after he was part of a group of 30Republicans and two Democrats who voted to replace the Democraticleadership. The Senate Democrats agree to put Sen. John Sampson ina new position in which he will be in charge of daily operations ofthe chamber as well as be the face of the conference.

But Sen. Malcolm Smith insists he is still the Senate majorityleader despite the 31-31 split created by Monserrate's return.

A state justice is giving both sides until Tuesday morning toagree to sharing leadership.

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