Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Democrats have won two special elections for the New York state Senate, but Republicans will remain in charge of the chamber. In Westchester County, Democrat Shelley Mayer beat Republican Julie Killian. In the Bronx, Democrat Luis Sepulveda easily dispatched Republican Patrick Delices. Democrats now have a one-seat majority; but even before the results of two special elections Tuesday in the State Senate were decided, the lone Democratic Senator who caucuses with the Republicans says he’s sticking with the GOP. That means Democrats will likely not control the Senate any time this year.

Candidate for New York governor Cynthia Nixon poses with supporters at an Earth Day rally against Governor Andrew Cuomo's energy policies outside the state Capitol in Albany Monday.
Karen DeWitt

Two of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s political opponents were at an Earth Day rally on climate change attended by hundreds at the State Capitol in Albany Monday, where they said the Democrat’s energy policies are far from adequate.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave a speech at the annual meeting of the Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network Wednesday, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., where he offered remedies to fix the nation’s Democratic Party.

Governor Andrew Cuomo discusses budget in Lake Placid
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The progressive political party the Working Families Party split up over the weekend, with some of the last remaining major unions leaving the group. WFP announced they back Cynthia Nixon for Governor, while incumbent Andrew Cuomo withdrew from consideration, saying he’s sticking with the major unions, for now.

The New York state Capitol
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Monday marked the first day that the former breakaway Democrats in the New York State Senate are working with the mainstream Democrats after they agreed to reunify earlier this month. Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says so far it’s all proceeding smoothly, but she dampened expectations that new major legislation would get done before the session ends in June.

Karen DeWitt

TV’s Sex and the City star and education advocate Cynthia Nixon won the endorsement of the minor party Working Families Party at a meeting in Albany Saturday. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is running in a Democratic primary against Nixon, dropped out of contention for the party’s nomination Friday night, after delegates were leaning toward Nixon.

“I am so proud to accept the endorsement of the Working Families Party,” Nixon told the enthusiastic crowd of progressive and activist groups.

Facebook: Working Families Party

A key progressive third party in New York splintered Friday, as two major unions withdrew from the Working Families Party. Those still in the WFP say it makes it more likely that the activist groups remaining in the party will endorse Cynthia Nixon over Governor Andrew Cuomo in a party meeting on Saturday, as Cuomo announced that he is dropping out.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Tensions between Democratic New York Governor Cuomo and the left wing of his party have heightened after the governor attended a fundraiser to raise campaign money for a now disbanded group of breakaway Senate Democrats.

Picture of marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon has outlined her plans for legalizing marijuana in New York in a video, saying the state lags far behind some other states. Governor Andrew Cuomo, also a Democrat, says he’s studying the issue.

Cynthia Nixon
wikipedia.org

The political activist group Citizen Action has endorsed Democrat Cynthia Nixon for New York governor. It’s the second grassroots organization to endorse the New York City actor in two days.

New York State Capitol
flickr

Two warring factions of Democrats in the New York state Senate are rejoining forces, as pressure has mounted from the party’s left-leaning base for a reunification. But, the Democrats are still one vote short of the 32 seats they need to regain the majority in the Senate.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, seeking a third term in office, is facing challenges both from the left of his party and from a new Republican candidate. But the two candidates, Cynthia Nixon and Marc Molinaro, share a common theme – they say they are nicer than Cuomo.

Office of the Dutchess County Executive

Another candidate has announced they will challenge Andrew Cuomo for New York governor. This time it’s Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who on Monday offered a political indictment of Cuomo’s practices and temperament in office.

New York State Capitol
flickr

The newly approved New York state budget includes a work around for the partial loss of state and local tax deductions in the federal tax overhaul.

New York State Capitol
flickr

New York state budget talks became heated in the final hours of negotiations Friday, as ultimatums were offered and there were threats of a government shutdown.

New York state Capitol
Karen DeWitt

State lawmakers continue to try to work out a budget agreement in New York. They need to finish by midday today so legislators and staff can get home for the Passover and Easter holidays. However, some major issues related to the spending plan are still not resolved.

Stanley Fritz of Citizen Action is one of many who spoke against the state budget's priories at a rally on the Million Dollar Staircase at the New York State Capitol on Wednesday.
Karen DeWitt

Budget talks are stalled one day before a self-imposed deadline of March 30 set by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York state legislature. Meanwhile, groups left out of the deal are expressing their dismay.

New York State Capitol
flickr

Talks on the state budget were stalled just days before the March 30th deadline, as Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers continue negotiations. Groups pressing for additional issues that are in the governor’s budget plan have still not given up hope.  

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

It’s just over a week until the New York state budget is due, and there are no resolutions on an array of proposed new taxes and spending proposals, as well as several unrelated items that are tied to the budget.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Wednesday, in his first public comments since challenger Cynthia Nixon announced her candidacy, dismissed two days of attacks as the “political silly season.”

Cynthia Nixon
wikipedia.org

Candidate for governor of New York Cynthia Nixon delivered a blistering speech Tuesday against Governor Andrew Cuomo, who she hopes to challenge in a Democratic primary. She was immediately criticized by a Cuomo ally, who questioned Nixon’s qualifications in a controversial remark. 

Cardinal Timothy Dolan
wikipedia.org

New York’s Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan met privately with Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday over a proposed bill to give victims of childhood sexual abuse more access to the courts. The Cardinal remains opposed to a key provision of the measure.

Cynthia Nixon
wikipedia.org

Actor and public education advocate Cynthia Nixon announced her campaign for governor of New York Monday. She wants to run in a Democratic primary against incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Matt Ryan

In the days since actor and progressive activist Cynthia Nixon indicated she might want to run against Andrew Cuomo in a Democratic primary for New York governor, Cuomo has made a number of public appearances and taken several steps to shore up his political base.

Karen DeWitt

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse delivered an emotional appeal to New York state senators today, after they learned that the Senate did not put the Child Victims Act into their budget plan. The measure would offer more opportunities for survivors to gain justice in the court system.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday spoke publicly for the first time since his former closest aide was convicted of running two bribery schemes while working for the Democrat and managing Cuomo’s reelection campaign.

Governor Andrew Cuomo discusses budget in Lake Placid
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to impose a tax on manufacturers of prescription opioids to help pay for state programs that help people who are addicted to them. But some say it will be patients who will ultimately have to pay the price.

The state capitol in Albany
Dave Lucas / WAMC

The New York State Senate has approved anti-sexual harassment legislation that includes an end to secret settlements. It would also no longer allow state officials who admit to sexual harassment to use taxpayer funds to settle their cases.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

As a jury continues to deliberate in the bribery trial of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide, the Democrat has been keeping his focus on other matters, including appearing with former Vice President Al Gore to talk about energy and the environment.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assembly Democrats announced they would  pass  a package of gun control bills on Tuesday at the State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Things got heated on the New York state Senate floor over a debate on bills that majority party Republicans say will improve school safety. Meanwhile, the state Assembly on Tuesday passed its own set of gun control bills.

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