Five measures that could be law under Senate Democrats


Stewart Cousins3

Democrats and their colleagues in the Working Families Party have made it pretty clear what issues they would push to get into law if they win the Senate majority in November.

And it’s pretty simple: They are all ones blocked by Republicans in their coalition deal with the five-member Senate Independent Democratic Conference over the past two years.

Here’s five of the top issues:

  • Public financing of campaigns: Democrats want to install a statewide matching system using public money to help fund campaigns. Republicans were opposed.
  • Dream Act: Democrats in the Assembly have already passed the measure that would provide tuition aid to immigrants who are in the country illegally. It failed earlier this year in the Senate, including no votes by two Democrats, and wasn’t brought up again.
  • Abortion rights: As part of a 10-point Women’s Equality Agenda, abortion rights would be strengthened. The Assembly has backed all 10 points, but the divided Senate has stalled on the abortion piece, and they left without agreeing on any of it. There may be at least two Democrats who oppose the current language of the abortion measure.
  • Minimum wage: Cuomo has committed to a $10.10 an hour minimum wage that would also allow local governments to increase it up to another 30 percent. Legislators agreed last year to increase it to $9 a hour by the end of 2015, but no agreement was reached to increase it sooner before the session ended last week.
  • A ban on hydrofracking: The Democratic-led Assembly has repeatedly passed a moratorium on hydrofracking and have also sought an outright ban. Republicans, mainly from upstate, have supported hydrofracking, particularly in the economically depressed Southern Tier. Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t decided what to do, and there’s been a de facto ban since 2008. Karen Scharff, co-chair of the Working Families Party, said today that they would push for a fracking ban next year in the Senate.
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  1. There’s 5 good reasons not to vote for Senators George Latimer or Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

  2. Vic, if they ban it and Prince Andy the Ditherer signs it, he’s signing the death warrant for his presidential aspirations. What part of the Constitution regarding the property rights of citizens does he not understand? Oh yeah, that’s right – he doesn’t believe in the second amendment either.

    These people are the most dangerous people in the entire country. Obama is a feckless fool and imcompetent leader, but Cousins, The communist DiBlasio, the pervert Silver, and the butt-licking, lying, tax-cheating Cuomo are the worst scum on the face of the planet.

  3. Let’s see — SAFE Act written by a 27 year old with no experience in firearms, mental health or law enforcement, $2B in tax hikes, taxpayer subsidies of illegal aliens’ college tuitions, taxpayer subsidies of violent felons’ college tuitions, taxpayer subsidies of politicians election campaigns (read: golf in warm resort spots, followed by wine and 4-star dinners), yup…sounds like the makings of a great Presidential campaign to me.

  4. Joanne Corey on

    As a resident of the Southern Tier living in a town on the PA border, I am hopeful that Democratic majorities in the Assembly and Senate will move forward with a ban, or at least a long moratorium, on high volume hydrofracking. There are lots of other opportunites for economic development that don’t risk our health, environment, and climate. My county, Broome, already has many sites where current and former industries have polluted our towns and harmed our health. We need those places to be cleaned up, not to invite in another polluting industry.

  5. I thought we wanted to develop the Southern Tier as a center for the technology industry? How are we going to attract the best and the brightest to live here with all the devastation fracking brings to the areas it infests with its air and water pollution, health problems, noise, well flaring and endless truck traffic? We know what the solution is: BAN FRACKING RIGHT NOW and give New Yorkers the confidence to proceed with the non-toxic variety of commercial development. We want success for our state like Governor Cuomo does, not the destruction to lives and communities brought by hydrofracking.

  6. Hugh Kimball on

    The only one of these items that should be supported is the fracking ban which will safeguard air, water, and ground and especially the health of those who would be unfortunate to live near gas wells and compressor stations.

    I can see no rationale for any of the other four on the list and totally oppose the so-called dream act which would assist people who should not be here at a time when citizens are struggling to pay college bills for themselves and their children. This is just wrong.

  7. If fracking were as bad as you Cassandras claim, why do residents in PA areas with drilling support it 2-1? Why is not there a mass migration into NY to avoid the environmental catastrophes you claim? Why has not ONE public agency such as the EPA, DEC, PADEP or agencies in other states come out against it publicly? Because you are all wrong!

  8. Taxpayer1301 on

    Banning fracking would contribute to public health, healthy local economies, cut back on the spewing of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and help mitigate global warming/climate change/climate disruption; so that should be No. 1 for a Dem-controlled Senate. Next would be public finance so that we could reduce the control that the fossil fuel industry and multi-national corporations have over our lives. In short, if # 1 and 2 became law, we would gain some liberty from the evils fracking does to local communities and be liberated from multi-national corporate control. Go Dem Senate!

  9. Oh, by all means ban upstate fracking. Upstate is imploding anyway and NYC is getting sufficient shale gas from Ohio & PA to keep utility rates stable, with more to come.
    Of course, upstate will never again be economically competitive without that cheap local energy and capital for start-up’s; so, keep up the illusion.

  10. Patricia Goldsmith on

    The most important of these is a ban on hydrofracking. As New York’s moratorium has worn on through the years, evidence against fracking has piled up elsewhere. Just this week regulators in Colorado stopped fracking wastewater from being injected into wells because of a second earthquake in the area. Fracking as an industry lobbied for and received exemptions from the federal Clean Air, Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, and Community Preparedness and Right to Know Acts. Until the fracking industry is willing and able to comply with these longstanding measures that govern every other industry, it’s not safe. I am hoping Gov. Cuomo leads the charge on this and permanently bans fracking in New York. The time is ripe. This week our area had six inches of rain in one night–unheard of. This is the very beginning of the consequences phase of climate change, which will last a very long time. We need to do everything we can to get to climate safety as quickly as possible, beginning with an all-out transition to renewable energy pronto.

  11. Great, make late term abortions even easier to get. Nothing like infanticide to make us all feel better about living in the Big Apple.

  12. Last time the Democrats held power on

    The last time Democrats had the majority we had
    1. No on time Budgets
    2. The highest corruption convictions in the country
    3. The most ever furloughed workers because of no budget
    4. We became the highest taxed state in the nation
    5. Woman’s equality suffered an 8 year blow to the movement
    6. Welfare rolls increased by 33 percent

    Lets talk about how over 30 other states are drilling and NY isn’t despite the DEC, and the Health department have found no evidence of any fracking related problems in 6 years of study. How the Democrat in charge has cost NYS tens of thousands of high paying jobs and hundreds of millions in gas related taxes that would have paid for two Tappenze Bridges while reducing the states 6 billion dollar deficit relieving tax stress on all NY residents.

  13. All the Years the Republicans Held Power on

    1) Senate GOP Corruption: Pisani, Spano, Vellela, Leibell all went to jail
    2) Every State Budget that raised taxes or added spending while GOP ruled the Senate was agreed to by the Senate GOP for 75 YEARS
    3) The “collapse” of upstate came during years where Republicans held the Governorship and the Senate. Nice try blaming nobody but the Dems.

    THE SENATE GOP IS “FIGHTING” to maintain its patronage jobs, perks, and campaign $$$$ accumulated because they are in the majority.
    They are no answer to what’s wrong.
    They are part and parcel of what’s wrong.

  14. August Braun on

    1. By a 2 to 1 margin, PA residents favor high volume hydraulic fracturing in their state according to a Binghamton Press article dated June 6, 2014.
    2. The big lie promulgated by the anti-driller, pro 1%er is that drilling destroys land and house values. Here’s a link to the Montrose, Pa realty website which shows that PA land is just as expensive and more so than this progressive hell hole state called NY.
    3. If Pa is a polluted wasteland, why are there not hordes of Pa residents pouring across the NY/PA border to escape the devastation.
    4. Over 30 states now allow high volume hydraulic fracturing and not ONE has stopped for any reason.
    The list of evidence that the anti’s are little more than a group of pathological spin meisters is irrefutable.