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New leaders, same routine as Albany's 'Big Three' -- Flanagan, Heastie, Cuomo -- meet for first time

Robert Mujica, chief of staff for Senate Republicans,

Robert Mujica, chief of staff for Senate Republicans, left, and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) at the Capitol after a meeting with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Mike Groll

ALBANY - The routine following a meeting of New York's political leaders seems to stay the same even if the players change.

The state's two new state legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, couldn't help but sound like their predecessors after meeting with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for the first time Wednesday.

They said little. They noted the to-do list. They called the meeting productive. They made a joke or two. And they said they would have to consult with their respective conferences before deciding key matters.

"We looked at the long list of things that have been talked about and mapped out what we're going to talk about for the next six weeks," Heastie (D-Bronx) told reporters after the meeting, which lasted bit more than an hour. "There's been nothing final. No agreements. No anything. It was a good first talk, we welcomed John to the family and we'll see what happens."

Flanagan (R-East Northport) was elected Senate leader by his colleagues Monday, after they pressured Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) to step down from post in the wake of federal corruption charges.

Very similarly, Heastie took over as Assembly leader in February just after federal prosecutors filed corruption charges against then-Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), head of the Independent Democratic Conference, also sat in on the confab with Cuomo. They said they discussed renewal of rent control laws, tax breaks for housing developers and education policies, among other things.

Ethics laws weren't discussed.

Flanagan called the meeting "positive" and said lawmakers will have a "full agenda" for the final six weeks of the 2015 legislative session.

When asked whether the dynamics changed with Flanagan, Heastie, who stands 5-foot-6, shrugged and joked it meant there's "just another tall guy in there."

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