Last week, Albany Update reported that the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC)—which has been in existence in the New York State Senate since 2011—was reuniting with the rest of the Senate Democratic Conference. Thus far, it appears that the reunification is taking effect. For Democrats, reunification is not the goal; it is merely a step toward the goal. The Democrats’ goal is a governing Democratic majority in the State Senate, which would give their party full control of both the legislative branch and the executive branch of New York government.
If the Democrats get their wish in the near future, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) would be poised to become Senate Majority Leader. What would this move mean for the State of New York? Let’s take a look.
- Leader Stewart-Cousins has a long history of LGBT advocacy. A State Senate led by Leader Stewart-Cousins would likely pass bills like the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) (also known as the Bathroom Bill) and the Counselor Coercion Bill.
- Leader Stewart-Cousins co-sponsors a bill that would provide for socialized medicine throughout the State of New York. Albany Update expects that the State Senate would pass this bill if Leader Stewart-Cousins were in charge.
- Leader Stewart-Cousins is a vocal and determined proponent of late-term abortion expansion. When then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer introduced the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act (RHAPP) back in 2008, Sen. Stewart-Cousins was the leading sponsor. She also supports the abortion pill insurance mandate known as the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (CCCA). In 2015, Leader Stewart-Cousins had this to say about Senate Republicans who stood in the way of late-term abortion expansion: “‘Instead of having a bipartisan approach to the realities of, yes, their wives, their daughters, their nieces, their cousins, and yes, sensitivity to the obstacles their mothers faced, they have decided to spend their time in the deep slumber of “we don’t need to do a thing, let the anti-choice forces grow.” We need your help to make sure that they understand that we will not only be here on lobby days, but we will go back to their districts. We will energize the base of support which, we understand, is overwhelming for choice.’” If Leader Stewart-Cousins becomes Senate Majority Leader, New Yorkers can expect abortion expansion and other anti-life measures to be a major priority.