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.