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State Senate facing another constitutional fight

ALBANY — New York’s Senate and the once little regarded post of lieutenant governor may be heading into a constitutional crisis — again.

Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is reviewing a rules change this week by the Senate’s Republican majority to limit the Democratic lieutenant governor’s power if there are tie votes over leadership.

Democrats in the Senate asked for the legal analysis.

Republicans say the change assures senators will decide who leads the chamber if their 32-30 majority slips to a 31-31 tie.

Democrats call it a power grab counter to the constitution. Democratic Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy presides over the Senate, but votes only in ties on procedural matters.

This challenge seeks to define a procedural matter.