New York Democrats win supermajorities, however Cuomo stays a strong impediment to progressive reform


Democrats went into the election needing to web two seats within the Senate to realize supermajority standing, which they’ve lengthy loved within the Meeting. Election night time returns, which didn’t embrace absentee ballots, prematurely confirmed Republicans forward in lots of races, however as mail votes have been counted, Democrats surged into leads throughout the state.

With AP calls and candidate concessions (together with two by Republicans on Tuesday, one in the 40th District and the other in the 46th), Democrats have secured 40 seats and have wide leads in two others, the thirty ninth and sixtieth. Celebration leaders, who celebrated the anticipated milestone on Monday, may but see their closing tally develop to 43 if the fiftieth District, the place Republicans hold a three-point lead, breaks their manner.

These legislative supermajorities would, at the very least in principle, enable Democratic lawmakers to override—or at the very least threaten to override—vetoes by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has lengthy stood in the way in which of progressive reform regardless of having been elected as a Democrat himself. Cuomo, predictably, acted blasé about the development, noting that he nonetheless holds tremendous sway over the all-important state price range.

Legislators may, nonetheless, nonetheless use their newfound energy to bypass Cuomo’s needs in other areas, most notably redistricting. With a two-thirds vote, Democrats may bypass a 2014 modification to the state structure that, underneath the pretense of creating an unbiased fee—a choose actually ordered that the phrase “unbiased” be stricken from the amendment’s description as a result of it was nothing of the kind—was truly designed to make sure Republicans would have a say in redistricting regardless of how small their minority would possibly shrink.

If they continue to be united, due to this fact, Democrats in Albany may go new congressional and legislative maps completely on their very own. That may enable them to provide something from excessive partisan gerrymanders to districts designed to guard incumbents to genuinely truthful maps.

Senate Majority Chief Andrea Stewart-Cousins recently suggested that she intends to maintain each partisan and civic goals in thoughts, saying at a Monday press convention, “We are going to do the proper factor. I imagine that we can draw up strains which are, , contiguous and rational, and nonetheless be capable of obtain a Democratic majority.” Given New York’s robust blue lean, nonetheless, nearly any maps in need of the form of Republican gerrymander presently in place ought to persistently yield majorities for Democrats.

The large query, after all, is whether or not Democrats will in truth be capable of stick collectively. One apparent downside is Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder, a conservative Democrat who for a few years caucused with Republicans and was solely welcomed again into the Democratic fold final 12 months. However past Felder or every other troublesome members, there stays … the price range.

As Democratic Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, who has served within the chamber for half a century, put it in a highly informative article by the Albany Instances Union‘s Edward McKinley, “Even after we’re not doing the price range, when persons are pondering of giving the governor a tough time, they at all times have to recollect what the governor can do within the price range.” Given Cuomo’s infamous penchant for vengefulness, Democrats who cross him on redistricting—or every other matter—may pay a pricey value when it comes time for what McKinley dubbed the “sweepstakes underpinning the state’s roughly $170 billion annual spending.”

If the complete get together stands in opposition to the governor, Democrats would possibly discover security in numbers. However Cuomo’s capability to strike again at his enemies, actual and perceived, can by no means be underestimated, and that’s one thing lawmakers gained’t ever neglect.