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Key NY Senator lowers expectations on Democratic reunification


A leading Senate Democrat says if a planned unification between rival factions in the State Senate occurs, do not expect any immediate action on key items like women’s reproductive rights, public financing of campaigns and transgender rights.

Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat who is the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, says under the current plan, the reunification would not happen until late in the legislative session and there likely will not be time to act on the bills.

“We will have a few weeks, maybe five weeks when we are officially the majority,” Kruger said, in an interview with public radio and television. “So no one should imagine we will turn around the state legislature and pass every bill we’ve been hoping to pass in our first five weeks. That’s a ridiculous set of assumptions.”

In order for the factions to reunite, the governor needs to call special elections for two vacant Senate seats. And Cuomo has said he will not call the elections until after the budget is done, sometime in the spring. Krueger say she supports holding the elections in early March, before the budget is due.

Krueger says she expects Democrats to pick up seats in the November 2018 elections. She says it is more realistic to expect the Democrats to make progress on the bills starting in the 2019 session. Republicans have said they believe they will hold or pick up seats next year.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.
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