New York State Senate

Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

The leader of the Senate Republicans says his members will once again join forces with a group of breakaway Democrats to rule the Senate come January.  Senator Dean Skelos says his members also want a pay raise.

Republicans won a bare majority of 32 seats in the 2014 elections, and GOP Leader Dean Skelos, following a two hour closed door meeting with his republican members,  says the GOP will once again form a coalition  government with leader of the Independent Democrats, Senator Jeff Klein.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The candidates for New York’s 49th Senate and 112th Assembly districts debated in Saratoga County last night. The two Democrats vying for the seats long held by Republican incumbents both focused their messages on the women’s equality agenda.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Recent polls show Republican candidates for State Senate in New York are ahead of their Democratic opponents, offering the GOP new hope that they can retain some control of the Senate chamber in January.

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Senate Republicans have a new strategy in what’s shaping up to be an election battle for control of the State Senate. They say now that a group of breakaway Democrats is abandoning them and rejoining the rest of the Democrats, the Senate will be dominated by New York City liberals who won’t care about Upstate and Long Island.

The five member Independent Democratic Conference  announced it would break its nearly two year old  alliance  in ruling the  Senate with the Republicans, and plans to join  the Democrats in a coalition government after the November elections.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

The New York State Senate is not likely to meet again until next January, but the fight for leadership of the chamber has already begun.

Wikimedia Commons/Ildar Sagdejev

A bill passed by the New York State Senate would allow towns more freedom in controlling the speed limit on roadways. 

The legislation passed by the state Senate Tuesday would allow towns in New York with populations of 50,000 or less to set the speed limit within their jurisdictions. Under current law, towns are required to petition the New York State Department of Transportation in order to change a speed limit – a process that can take a considerable amount of time.

However, villages, cities, and several larger communities are exempt from having to petition.

The ruling coalition in the New York state Senate has grown by one member. Senator Tony Avella, of Queens, has left the minority Democrats to join the governing coalition of Republicans and Independent Democrats.

Two candidates vying for the Democratic spot in the race for New York’s sprawling 49th Senate District are kicking their campaigns into gear.

New York’s 49th Senate District, stretching from Schenectady and Saratoga Counties up through Fulton, Herkimer, and Hamilton, has long been held by Republican Hugh Farley. Come November, two Democratic candidates are hoping to take his place.

Candidate Madelyn Thorne ran against Farley in 2012. Two years on, Thorne said she’s continued to travel the region, and believes her support in the Republican controlled district is growing.

NY Passes Mercury Thermostat Disposal Law

Jun 24, 2013
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Environmental groups in New York say a new law requiring manufacturers to collect and safely dispose of thermostats will remove a major source of toxic mercury from the waste stream. 

The legislation, which awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature, was passed late Friday night by the Senate and Assembly. The New York Public Interest Research Group says it addresses one of the largest remaining sources of mercury pollution in New York — the hundreds of thousands of old thermostats discarded each year.

NY Assembly OKs Women's Rights, Abortion Bill

Jun 21, 2013
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New York's Democrat-led Assembly has approved bills including an abortion rights provision that has roiled Albany.

But Senate Republicans refused to allow the abortion measure to the floor in that chamber.

The Senate plans to adopt the nine other women's rights initiatives in the 10-point package pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The nine items combat discrimination against women in the workplace and strengthen human trafficking laws.

Those could be sent back to the Assembly today after Senate passage and voted into law.

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