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Gotham Gazette

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State Senate

State Senate

  • senatechamberalbany2

    (Photo via Wiki Commons)


    Statewide elected officials, legislators and agency heads are slated to get pay raises next year following recommendations issued Thursday by a four-member panel that was created in this year’s state budget.

    The New York State Compensation Committee voted on Thursday to raise the salaries of legislators for the first time in nearly twenty years, as well as for the four statewide offices and for executive agency commissioners. The committee will publicly release a report and deliver it to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature on Monday

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    Andrea Stewart-Cousins (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    After the election results from earlier this month, Andrea Stewart-Cousins is set to become majority

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    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    November 14, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

    asc andreastewartcousinswbai crp

    Cuomo taxes

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    When the dust settles on the 2018 elections, whoever is governing the state will be faced with problems like what to do about NYCHA and the MTA, and how New York should respond to climate change, among many others. Another

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    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    New Yorkers will head to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, to vote for federal and state candidates in an election that could radically alter the direction of the state and the entire nation. Every seat in the state Legislature is on the ballot, as are the joint ticket of governor-lieutenant governor, the positions of state comptroller and attorney general, New York’s 27 seats in the House of Representatives, and one U.S. Senate position.

    Democrats, hoping to ride a surge of engagement in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s

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    Senate Democrats (photo via @nysenatedems)


    State Senate Democrats are already contemplating which policies they will pass under a one-party state government, confident they will win big in the upcoming November 6 elections, keeping control of the governor’s office and Assembly, while flipping the upper house of the Legislature. According to one leader of both the government and campaign agendas, Democrats have a general sense of a two-tiered policy agenda they plan to take up if victorious, prioritizing a long list of stalled progressive demands.

    Meanwhile,

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    Senator Michael Gianaris (photo: @SenGianaris)


    New York Democrats are confident that the upcoming elections will result in a completely blue state government, believing they will easily upend the current one-seat majority held by Republicans in the State Senate, according to the head of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, State Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens.

    If they hold the governorship, and Democratic incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to win a third term, and their supermajority in the Assembly, Democrats could have unfettered control

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    Marc Molinaro & Senator Marty Golden campaign (photo: @marcmolinaro)


    Republicans fighting to keep control of the state Senate this year have been adamant that their continued majority in the chamber is the only thing standing between New York and socialism. And with the party playing defense in a number of races, there’s a certain logic to motivating voters to come out based on the idea that their district could be the one that determines who controls the entire Senate, especially resonant given the one-seat margin the Republican conference holds.

    But the rhetoric

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  • New York Democratic Party

    Gov. Cuomo (photo via New York Democratic Party)


    This op-ed is an updated version of a previously published column, now accounting for the October 32-day Pre-General Campaign Financial Disclosure and incorporating other new information, including reader feedback from the original version, previously published in Gotham Gazette October 2.

    In the November 6 general election, New York Democrats have a

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    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    October 17, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Senator Michael Gianaris and Thomas Doherty

    Michael Gianaris Thomas Doherty WBAI

    Control of the State Senate is at stake this election year in New York, with Democrats hopeful they can overcome what is now a one-seat margin that leaves them in the minority and win a majority,

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    Gov. Cuomo & Long Island Democratic Senate candidates (photo: @andrewcuomo)


    Since the Affordable Care Act has failed to tame the beast that is America’s private health insurance system, and a new presidential administration is actively hostile to even that modest attempt at near-universal coverage, activists and many Democrats in New York have recently come to embrace a way forward. Single-payer, state-government-administered health care coverage has become something of a rallying cry for progressive activists in New York even as Governor Andrew Cuomo has

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  • shakinghands

    Sen. Jeff Klein meets voters (Photo: jeffkleinny.com)


    Already spending at what is likely a record pace, with two weeks until the September 13 primary, New York State Senator Jeff Klein kept spending his campaign cash at a rapid clip to try to beat back a Democratic primary challenge from Alessandra Biaggi, a lawyer and first-time candidate, Klein’s late post-primary campaign finance filing shows. In sum, Klein spent nearly ten times more than Biaggi, but was still unsuccessful as Biaggi claimed the nomination, likely unseating one of the state’s major powerbrokers of the past

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  • govandcuomo moynihan

    Gov. Cuomo (photo via the Governor's office)


    In the November 6 general election, New York Democrats have a historic opportunity to take control of the state Senate. If this happens, Democrats would control both houses of the state Legislature for only the third time in the last 100 years, unlocking years of bottled up progressive legislation passed by the Democratically-controlled Assembly but blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate.

    Assuming Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, wins reelection as he is expected to, ...

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    (Photo: @agounardes)


    As Democrats eye majority control of the New York State Senate that has effectively eluded them for a decade, party leaders and a coalition of progressive activists are descending on Southern Brooklyn’s District 22, where Democrat Andrew Gounardes is challenging Republican Senator Marty Golden and where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans more than two-to-one.

    The Senate Democratic conference currently holds 31 seats and needs just one more for a majority in the 63-seat upper chamber of the state Legislature, while their party-mates

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    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    August 15, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Central Brooklyn Senate Primary Tests IDC Awareness with Zellnor Myrie and Senator Jesse Hamilton

    myrie hamilton 277State Senator Jesse Hamilton is a member of the now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference, a group of Democrats who caucused with Republicans for seven years and,

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    Senator Martin Dilan (Photo: Sen. Dilan's Office)


    A campaign fundraising committee set up to bankroll the state Senators from the erstwhile Independent Democratic Conference was recently ruled to have been illegal by a state Supreme Court judge. Campaign finance records show that Brooklyn Senator Martin Dilan, who was never part of the IDC but is facing a tough primary challenge this year, was also a beneficiary of thousands of dollars spent by that committee for his last reelection campaign, a fact opponents are using as fodder to criticize his commitment to the Democratic

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    Senator Jesse Hamilton with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, center (photo: @BPEricAdams)


    Amid a heated Democratic primary race in central Brooklyn’s state Senate District 20, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is making $1 million of government money available for spending in the district through a process run by Senator Jesse Hamilton, his handpicked, newly-embattled successor in the state Legislature.

    Hamilton is a former member of the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of eight Democratic state senators who formed a coalition with the Senate

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    Senator Gianaris and colleagues (photo via Gianaris Facebook)


    Predictions of a nationwide “blue wave” of anti-Trump sentiment resulting in major Democratic gains have been tempered as the president maintains strong support among Republicans and the economy, broadly speaking, is going strong.

    But even if the blue wave ends up being more like a trickle, that would be good news to state Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens, who chairs the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC) and needs to net just one seat this fall to take control of the

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    Senator Gianaris (photo: @sengianaris)


    New Yorkers may soon have a new tool to influence their government. A bill in the state Legislature would allow members of the public, given enough support, to compel state agencies to hold public hearings on proposed rules.

    The bill (S2397), sponsored in the state Senate by Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens, would establish a three-year pilot program ordering seven regulatory agencies — the Workers' Compensation Board and the Departments of Education, Environmental Conservation, Health, Financial Services, Labor, and Family Assistance

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    Andrea Stewart-Cousins at the state party convention (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    While policies to prevent and punish sexual harassment were being decided in Albany during state budget negotiations earlier this year, four men led the closed-door talks: Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, and the leader of the now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference Jeff Klein. Even as female aides had some level of participation, there was a great deal of scrutiny of the absence

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    Cuomo at ABNY (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    With the specter of a competitive Democratic primary squarely in front of him, Governor Andrew Cuomo, the two-term incumbent, announced on Wednesday, April 4 that he had brokered a unity deal between two groups of Democrats in the state Senate, setting the stage for the possibility of capturing the majority in the chamber, which is the only Republican stronghold in state government. Cuomo brought together the mainline Senate Democrats and the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, a group

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    Shelley Mayor, center (photo: @Shelley4Senate)


    A coalition of progressive community organizations representing thousands of members across New York State will support Shelley Mayer, the Democratic Assemblymember who is running for an open state Senate seat in Westchester that could decide which party leads the legislative chamber.

    Mayer is running against Republican Julie Killian for the 37th Senate District seat, in a special election scheduled for April 24. The seat has been vacant since January after its previous occupant, George Latimer,

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  • Cuomo Sheldon Silver Skelos Albany

    Gov. Cuomo, Sheldon Silver & Dean Skelos in 2012 (photo via The Governor's Office)


    As allegations of sexual harassment and assault against disgraced movie producer and major Democratic political donor Harvey Weinstein piled up earlier this month, women around the world took to social media to share stories of abusive behavior using the hashtag #MeToo.

    The light being shone on the predatory behavior of Weinstein and

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    Katherine Brezler (photo via Facebook)


    A teacher and grassroots organizer is scoping out the Westchester Democratic Party nod in a potential special election for state Senator George Latimer’s seat, which would be triggered if the Democratic senator wins the race for Westchester county executive this fall.

    On July 24, Katherine Brezler, a 35-year-old from White Plains who campaigned for Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential bid, became the first to register a campaign committee for the 37th Senate District seat currently held by Latimer, according to the New York State Board of

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  • ellia at a school nysednews

    (photo via @NYSEDNews)


    The silence from D.C. is deafening.

    As The Washington Post recently reported, “the Trump administration is reducing the role of the federal government in fighting discrimination and protecting minorities by cutting budgets, dissolving programs and appointing officials

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