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N.Y. Senate Leader Pledges Focus On Budget Despite Cuomo Scandals

Democratic N.Y. State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Mike Groll
Democratic N.Y. State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said she’s determined to steer the Legislature through budget negotiations with Governor Andrew Cuomo, even though the governor has ignored her calls for him to resign over a sexual harassment scandal.

The Senate Leader, along with most of the majority party Democrats in the chamber, have called for Cuomo to leave, after multiple women have alleged he sexually harassed them or behaved inappropriately. Stewart-Cousins said nevertheless, the state budget, which includes plans to help New Yorkers beat COVID and improve the economy, has to be finished by the March 31 deadline, and she will need to work with the governor’s office to do it.

“I’ve made my opinions clear, I think the governor should resign but I also understand that it is important that we do our job and that will always be my focus,” Stewart-Cousins said.

The Senate Leader hinted that the legislature may have more power to get its own proposals enacted this year, including a two-house agreement on a $7 billion dollar package of tax increase for the wealthy and corporations, which is not in the governor’s plan.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.