Democrats prepare for control of State Senate

Jan 2, 2019

One of the longest-running fights in state government has ended with Democrats taking control over the State Senate. While the development changes the power structure in Albany, it could also impact Western New York.

Crystal Peoples-Stokes is now Majority Leader in the state Assembly while Senator Tim Kennedy has moved up to chair of the Transportation Committee.
Credit WBFO file photo

The Republican Senate has long been a party bulwark against Democratic governors and State Assemblies. That's over. For local Republicans, it's a hit especially because Senator Cathy Young had power as Finance Committee chair. She worked with Assemblyman Andy Goodell with overlapping districts. Goodell says he's worried there might be more money for schools but it will slide Downstate.
"There's no doubt that I have been a strong supporter of increasing funding for our schools in Western New York," Goodell said.

"Of course, the Senate and the Assembly are now dominated by representatives from New York City. So, the real issue and it's not a Republican-Democrat, but it's more an Upstate-Downstate issue, is how will the funds be allocated."

State Senator Tim Kennedy, now chair of the Transportation Committee, downplayed any loss of influence for Western New York while focusing on one key issue.

"We are looking at goals for the year and ensuring that we are protecting our kids, it starts with the Child Victims Act."

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, who is also pushing the Child Victims Act, has two other items at the top of her agenda.

"I think we need to do early voting. That's something our Democratic Conference has pushed forward every year and it did not make it through the other house," Peoples-Stokes said. 

"I certainly would like to see Roe v. Wade codified in the State of New York."