As noted previously, the New York State Senate has been controlled by Republicans for nearly a decade. Last week’s election left the democrats in solid control of the Senate. With all votes tallied, Democrats appear to have picked up an impressive eight seats, giving them 39 of the 63 seats in the Senate. They are also poised to make history, when conference leader Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins becomes the first-ever woman to lead a legislative chamber in New York State. This means that democrats will now control the Assembly, the Senate and the Governor’s office.
In general we can expect the democrats to set the agenda beginning in January. Their top priority is to counter many of the initiatives emanating from President Trump. We can expect action on:
- Reproductive Health Act – to codify Roe v. Wade in state law
- The DREAM Act – to make undocumented students eligible for financial assistance for education
- GENDA – to protect transgender New Yorkers under the state Human Rights Law
- Child Victims Act – to extend the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases
- Campaign finance reform
- Strengthening and extending rent regulation for NYC
- Speed camera expansion for NYC
- Marijuana legalization for adult use
- Single-payer healthcare
From a broadcasting perspective, we anticipate efforts to increase various regulations. We expect a strong push to change the Right of Publicity laws in New York State. In addition we are watching tax policy very closely to make sure there are no increases in state taxes.
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