By Laura Nahmias

Alas, the brief harmony that descended on Albany following Sunday afternoon’s budget agreement was to be short-lived.

Hours after the joint conference committee hearing put a cap on the budget agreement, Senate Republicans sprang a surprise rules change on their Democratic colleagues by giving themselves more representation on two vital committees: Rules and Finance.

The changes, which were approved late Monday night with all Republican members and three Independent Democratic Conference members voting “yes,” would give the majority the ability to move bills from the Finance Committee to the Senate floor without having to go through the Rules Committee first. The changes would also allow a committee to sub in members an hour prior to meetings if any member were absent that day.

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