New York State Senate | WAMC

New York State Senate

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Democrats have all but clinched a supermajority in the State Senate after declaring victory in another seat Friday, bringing the total number of seats controlled by the party in the chamber to at least 41 at the beginning of next year’s legislative session.

Professor Dan McCarthy, Manhattanville College
Courtesy of Dan McCarthy/Manhattanville College

A number of New York state Senate races, especially in the Hudson Valley, hang in the balance, awaiting absentee ballot counting to see if Democrats gain ground. Two congressional races that are closer than expected expose a rift in the Democratic Party and the strength of Republicans regardless of President Trump’s actions. So says Dr. Dan McCarthy, an adjunct professor at Manhattanville College in Westchester County who specializes in American government. He spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.

The New York State Capitol
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

A number of New York state Senate races in the Hudson Valley have not been decided. It could be weeks before constituents know who will represent them next year.

New York State Republican Party Chair Nick Langworthy
Karen DeWitt

Election Day brought mixed results for Democrats and Republicans in New York’s congressional and legislative races. Republicans were quick to claim victory, but Democrats, who will remain in the majority no matter the outcomes of contested races, say the record number of absentee ballots need to be counted first and it might take weeks.

Voting booths
Pat Bradley / WAMC

Many New York State Senate races have not been called, and might not be for weeks, until the record number of absentee ballots cast this year are counted.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

All of the 212 seats in the New York State legislature are up for election this year. There are more than a dozen contested seats in the state Senate, where Democrats are favored to win many of the contests and potentially gain a supermajority. But Republicans say they hope to gain some seats, too. 

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Most of the attention this election season has been focused on the presidential campaign, but there are also a significant number of New York state Senate races in play. Democrats need just two more seats to gain a supermajority that could potentially override any vetoes of legislation issued by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.

NYS 40th District Candidate Rob Astorino and NYS 40th Senator Pete Harckham
Courtesy of Rob Astorino's campaign and Pete Harckham's campaign (composite by WAMC News)

One New York state senate race in the Hudson Valley features a challenger who is no stranger to politics. Former Westchester County executive and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Republican Rob Astorino is challenging first-term Democrat Pete Harckham in the 40th District, which includes a large piece of Westchester.

DonkeyHotey, flickr

Over the past few months, several New York state GOP senators have announced they would not seek re-election. The latest came this week: Republican James Seward.

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Democrats who lead the New York state Senate approved several measures on Thursday to make it easier to vote. But a newly energized Republican minority wanted to talk about other topics, such as worries about undocumented immigrants voting and whether to repeal recently enacted bail reforms.

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Senator Rich Funke of Rochester is the latest New York Republican lawmaker to announce he will not seek re-election. Funke joins a growing list of 7 other minority party GOP senators who say they are moving on to other things, after less than a year under Democratic rule in the Senate. 

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Rochester-area Senator Joseph Robach’s announcement Wednesday that will he not seek re-election in 2020 makes him the fourth Republican Senator to do so in recent weeks. 

45th District Senator Betty Little
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York State Senator Betty Little, a Republican from the 45th District, will not seek re-election in 2020. Little joined the Senate in 2003 after seven years in the state Assembly. 

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The ranks of Senate Republicans in New York have been greatly diminished over the past year, with losses in the November elections, and other GOP Senators saying this summer that they are seeking new jobs.

Democratic New York state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Karen DeWitt

Two bills approved in the New York state Senate Wednesday could affect President Donald Trump and his associates. One would permit the state tax department to give the president’s New York tax returns to congressional committees. The other would ensure that anyone the president pardons for federal crimes could still be prosecuted for crimes committed in New York.

New York State Police

A New York state Senate committee will hold public hearing on limo and bus safety Thursday — nearly seven months after a limo crash in Schoharie killed 20 people. 

The state capitol in Albany
Dave Lucas / WAMC

The New York state Senate will be holding hearings Wednesday on ways to fix the state’s anti-sexual harassment laws.

Composite photo by Dave Lucas/WAMC

It looks like New York's 213 state lawmakers are getting a pay raise despite some last-minute hopes the package could be modified.

Alessandra Biaggi
Facebook: Alessandra Biaggi

Alessandra Biaggi is one of fifteen new New York state senators who will make up the Democratic majority in that conference in January. Biaggi defeated Senator Jeff Klein, the former leader of a group of breakaway Democrats who were criticized for often helping Republicans stay in power in the chamber. 

Mike Spain

WAMC's David Guistina speaks with Mike Spain, Associate Editor of The Times Union, about the New York state Senate. The pair also discuss the state's audit of opioid treatment programs and a failure to use the state's perscription monitoring system.

The incoming New York state Senate Democratic Conference
Karen DeWitt

History was made at the New York State Capitol Monday as the Senate elected its first woman, and African American woman, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, as its leader to head the chamber in January.

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on New York state Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Dr. Chartock also discusses a new federal report on climate change.

New York State Senator Jose Peralta
New York State Senator Jose Peralta Official Twitter Page

New York State Senator José Peralta died of an apparent heart attack late Wednesday night. The 47-year-old Democrat represented the 13th District in Queens and was defeated in a Democratic primary this fall by Jessica Ramos.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

It’s been 20 years since the governor and Legislature in New York received a pay raise. But that might be changing in January. 

New York State Senator John Flanagan
Karen DeWitt

New York state Senator John Flanagan was re-elected as the leader of the Republicans in that chamber on Friday afternoon, surviving a challenge to his leadership from upstate Senator Cathy Young of Olean. But, come January, he’ll be in charge of the minority party, after Democrats took control of the Senate for only the third time in the last century.

One of the first items expected to be voted on when the New York state Legislature convenes for the 2019 session is the Reproductive Health Act.  It would codify the abortion rights in the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade into state law.

Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Karen DeWitt

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who will become the first woman and African American woman to lead the New York state Senate come January, says she hopes to take action quickly on long-stalled measures in the Senate. She predicts that by the 2020 presidential election, New Yorkers will finally have early voting.

The New York State capitol in Albany
Dave Lucas / WAMC

Democrats are claiming control of the New York State Senate, with several seats now leaning toward the party’s candidates. 

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Some of the hottest congressional races in the country will be decided in New York on Tuesday, including one featuring an indicted incumbent, while voters also decide whether Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo deserves a third term.

Democrats are leading in the polls in New York’s statewide races for governor, attorney general and comptroller. The most heated contests this Election Day are in the state Senate, where Democrats are trying to win enough seats to take control of the chamber away from the Republicans.