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Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, Democratic colleagues and government reform advocates announcing package of anti-corruption bills at the state Capitol in May 2014. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, Democratic colleagues and government reform advocates announcing package of anti-corruption bills at the state Capitol in May 2014. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Senate Dem leader: This time, Democratic Senate would be more functional

The leader of the Senate Democrats says if Gov. Andrew Cuomo is successful in helping retake the chamber for Democrats in the fall elections, she expects the Senate to be much more functional than it was the last time the Democrats were in power.

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Reported by

Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins says her Democratic conference is nothing like the one in 2009 and 2010, the last time the Democrats were in power. The period was marked by corruption, partisan strife, and even a coup attempt. Now, one of the former leaders who were Stewart Cousins' predecessors is in jail, another is one trial, and a third has been indicted.

She says it's a different Senate now. "First of all there's new leadership," said Stewart Cousins. "There's a brand new conference. We have 14 new members since that time."

She says the Democrats are also racially, ethnically, and geographically diverse. And she says most New Yorkers want many measures that the current leadership of Republicans and break away Democrats have been unable to pass, including a higher minimum wage and college aid for children of undocumented immigrants.

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