New York State Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says she’s determined to steer the chamber through budget negotiations with Governor Andrew Cuomo, even though the governor has ignored her calls to resign over a sexual harassment scandal.
The Senate Leader, along with most of the majority party Democrats in the chamber, have called for Cuomo to leave after multiple women have alleged he sexually harassed them or behaved inappropriately. Stewart-Cousins says nevertheless, the state budget, which includes plans to help New Yorkers beat COVID-19 and improve the economy , has to be finished by the March 31 deadline, and she will need to work with the governor’s office to do it.
“I’ve made my opinions clear, I think the governor should resign but I also understand that it is important that we do our job and that will always be my focus and my conference’s focus,” Stewart-Cousins said Tuesday.
Stewart-Cousins hinted that the legislature may have more power to get its own proposals enacted this year, including a two-house agreement on a $7 billion package of tax increase for the wealthy and corporations, which is not in the governor’s plan.
On Monday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said budget talks would continue as normal.