NYS Senate Leader Says Cuomo May Be "Stressed" After Criticism | WAMC

NYS Senate Leader Says Cuomo May Be "Stressed" After Criticism

May 29, 2019

The leader of the New York state senate, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, says the pressures of forging agreements on major pieces of legislation might be getting to Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Senate Leader was asked Wednesday about disparaging comments Cuomo made about the Senate in recent days. 

Governor Cuomo, in radio interviews over the past couple of days, has said Democrats, who lead the Senate for the first time in over a decade, are not doing enough in the waning days of the session to pass major legislation, though he acknowledges they approved major bills like strengthening abortion rights and expanded voting, earlier this year. Cuomo spoke on Albany public radio station WAMC.

“You don’t win a ballgame because you scored in the first inning and then you didn’t score for the additional eight. This is not justified — all the time and effort that has gone into elected a Democratic Senate,” Cuomo told WAMC’s Alan Chartock. “It just hasn’t, in my opinion.”

Cuomo appeared to compare the Democrats to Republican President Donald Trump, after the sponsor of a bill to legalize marijuana said the Senate does not currently have the votes to pass it.

“Donald Trump is against legalizing marijuana and for the Senate to now say they don’t have the votes to pass it, which is what the sponsor of the bill said, I mean, what was the point?” he said.

Senator Stewart-Cousins, the chamber’s first female and African-American woman leader, says she’s not taking the governor’s comments personally.

“I just think he gets stressed during these times,” Stewart-Cousins said. “I guess he gets particularly animated during these stressful times, and we are coming to the end of session. Everybody has their way of coping. I prefer to keep my eye on getting the work done.”

Stewart-Cousins says she expects the Senate to end the session as it began with the passage of several major pieces of legislation. And she said some might come as result of agreements with the Democratic State Assembly, and not the governor.