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New York State Senate

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Democrats who lead the state Senate announced Monday that they have won enough seats to hold a supermajority. That means they can override vetoes by the governor and potentially change the balance of power at the State Capitol.

Dan Clark/WMHT

Democrats have all but clinched a supermajority in the State Senate after declaring victory in another seat Friday, bringing the total number of seats controlled by the party in the chamber to at least 41 at the beginning of next year’s legislative session.

Karen DeWitt

Most of the attention this election season has been focused on the presidential campaign, but there are also a significant number of New York State Senate races in play.

Democrats need just two more seats to gain a supermajority that could potentially override any vetoes of legislation issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

WXXI News

The candidates for the 55th State Senate District squared off in a Voice of the Voter debate Monday night at the WXXI studios.

Democrat Samra Brouk and Republican Chris Missick are vying for the seat held by Republican Rich Funke since 2015. He decided not to seek re-election this year.

On a question about dealing with the state’s deficit, both Brouk and Missick indicated they did not want to cut education or health care.

Brouk is looking for other ways to raise revenue.

Cooney takes 56th District Democratic nomination

Jul 8, 2020
File photo / CITY Newspaper

Jeremy Cooney has taken the Democratic primary for the 56th District Senate seat by a wide margin.

Cooney, an attorney and former congressional candidate, won 53.7% of the vote, according to unofficial results released Wednesday by the Monroe County Board of Elections.

He led a trio of candidates that included former Ibero-American Action League CEO Hilda Roasario Escher, who took 23.6% of the vote, and Greece Central School District Board member Sherita Traywick, who captured 22.6%.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has set April 28 as the day for the special election in the 27th Congressional District, as well as vacant NY Senate and Assembly seats.

The 27th district is the Western NY seat previously held by Republican Chris Collins, who gave up that position last September. Collins resigned at around the time he also pleaded guilty to charges in an insider trading case.

The ranks of Senate Republicans in New York have been greatly diminished over the past year, with losses in the November elections and other GOP senators saying this summer that they are seeking new jobs.

Republicans held the state Senate for nearly a century, with only a pair of two-year breaks when the Democrats gained power. But that ended last November, when the GOP lost eight seats. They now have just 22 Republican senators to the Democrats' 40 seats. 

ALBANY (AP) Likely within days, New Yorkers will find out whether the minimum wage is going up.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to enact a $15 wage is one of several issues to be decided as the Democratic governor and state lawmakers seek to work out a state budget deal before an April 1 deadline.

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NEW YORK (AP) New York may soon join California, Rhode Island and New Jersey by allowing workers to take paid time off to care for a new child or sick loved one.

Supporters have pushed for years to pass a paid family leave bill with little success.

But this year it's got the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Polls show broad support even among Republicans.

NEW YORK (AP) For the second time in a month, one of New York State's biggest political figures is going on trial on corruption charges.

Jury selection begins Monday in Manhattan federal court in the extortion and bribery trial of former Senate leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam.

Dean Skelos was the state's most powerful Republican before his May arrest on charges that he used his position to make hundreds of thousands of dollars for his son. He stepped down from his leadership post but retained his Senate seat.

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