Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins

In a spirited floor fight in the state Senate, Democrats tried once again but failed to get a vote on an amendment on women’s reproductive health care. The argument over Senate procedure led to accusations that some Republican senators were trying to “mansplain” the rules to the state’s female lieutenant governor.


File photo

The New York State Senate is experiencing its worst gridlock in nine years, with the two major factions tied at 31 members each. No legislation is moving through the chamber, but there’s lots of finger-pointing.

The New York legislative session is due to end in three weeks, but some state lawmakers are talking about leaving a week early because they believe they will accomplish so little in that time.


Karen DeWitt

The newly reunited Senate Democrats held their first press conference, where they focused on what they said was their No. 1 priority — a package of bills making it easier to vote.


The New York State Senate met for the first time since two Democrats were successful in special elections held on Tuesday. Though the Senate now has 32 Democrats, the number required to form a majority, it was back to business as usual with the GOP in charge.


WBFO file photo

Monday marked the first day that the former breakaway Democrats in the New York State Senate were working with the mainstream Democrats after they agreed to reunify earlier this month.


Karen DeWitt

Democrats in the State Senate tried to force a vote on gun control legislation in the State Senate, to put Republicans on the spot over some GOP Senators’ resistance to the bills.


NYSenate.gov

Democrats in the New York state Senate say they will push harder for gun control bills in the wake of the Florida shooting that left 17 dead and are even considering proposing the measures as hostile amendments.


Karen DeWitt

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to call for special elections to be held April 24 to fill two empty Senate seats, according to a state official who confirmed the date. The news is fueling hopes among Senate Democrats that they can gain control of the chamber before the end of the session.


Karen DeWitt

The legislature finally ended its 2017 legislative session, after the Assembly voted overnight on a privately negotiated omnibus bill, and the Senate finally finished on Thursday afternoon. The messy process drew condemnation from both sides of the aisle.


Karen DeWitt

A faction of breakaway Democrats known as the Independent Democratic Conference has been in the news lately for receiving stipend payments for chairing committees that the Senators in fact did not chair. Here’s a look at the history of this power-brokering group of senators and what may be in store for its future.


Karen DeWitt

The leader of the Senate Independent Democratic Conference for the first time publicly answered questions from the media about news stories that some of his members received stipends for committee chair positions that they do not actually hold.


Karen DeWitt

Democrats in the state Senate remain hopeful that they will regain the numerical majority and control of the chamber after a special election is held later this month. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo dampened those expectations, in remarks made Wednesday in New York City.


State lawmakers and lobby groups say Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in error when he said that there was no political will to enact reforms in 2017.


Tensions between opposing groups of Democrats in the Senate reached a flash point this week- over whose faction would be allowed to present their budget priorities for a floor debate, in an exchange that included some racially charged  name calling.


Karen DeWitt

The state budget is due in 3 1/2 weeks, but the biggest push at the Capitol is for a change that is not a spending item. It’s a measure to treat 16- and 17-year-olds as children, not adults, when they are charged with serious crimes.


office of Senator Peralta

A faction of breakaway Democrats in the state Senate has been gaining members lately, but they are now facing a backlash, including raucous opposition at meetings in their districts.

National Public Radio

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told a crowd of cheering Planned Parenthood advocates that he’s proposing an amendment to put protections from the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade into the state’s constitution.


What began in January as an ambitious reform package to address a wave of corruption at the Capitol, proposed by Governor Cuomo, dwindled to just two proposals by the time the session closed in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning. 


Karen DeWitt

With the legislative session down to the wire, groups for and against bills including expansion of Uber ride services and ethics reform came to the Capitol to make their voices heard.


Karen DeWitt

The Assembly and Senate have released budget positions that focus on taxes and spending policies, but very little on ethics reform, even though both former leaders of the legislature face prison sentences over corruption convictions. 


WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Republicans and Democrats in the State Senate both have victories to point to in last night’s election results.


WBFO News file photo

The state education commissioner’s plans to quell the testing opt out movement is getting some backlash from some Republicans in the legislature, including a former teacher.


WBFO File Photo

Major newspapers have posted editorials calling for the Senate Leader, Dean Skelos, to resign after the Senator and his son have been accused of running a corruption scam. But so far, Skelos is hanging on, and Republicans are trying hard to carry on business as usual.

Photo from Karen Dewitt

Democrats in the State Senate are attempting to close a loophole in the state’s campaign finance laws, while a new poll finds New Yorkers want lawmakers to take more steps to quell corruption.

WBFO File Photo

Pressure is mounting to include Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, the only female legislative leader, in the closed-door budget meeting with Governor Cuomo that now consists of four men in a room.

Budget talks began Wednesday, as Governor Cuomo met behind closed doors with legislative leaders to discuss school aid, economic development proposals and ethics reform. Cuomo’s push to reform practices in the legislature comes at a time when his nearly $1 million book deal is coming under closer scrutiny.

There are growing calls in Albany for a special prosecutor to investigate police encounters with unarmed citizens that end in the death of the person.  Senate Democrats are the latest to ask for immediate action in the wake of the death of Eric Garner and other recent incidents.

The leader of the Senate Democrats says if Governor Cuomo is successful in helping retake the chamber for Democrats in the fall elections, she expects the Senate to be much more functional than it was the last time the Democrats were in power.

A Republican led Senate task force has released a package of bills aimed at combating the growing heroin addiction in New York.