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Belt-tightening if GOP takes state Senate

Just two years after wrangling control of the state Senate, Albany’s Democrats could lose their majority today.

Just two years after wrangling control of the state Senate, Albany’s Democrats could lose their majority today.

Half a dozen Democrats in the 32-30 majority might see seats stripped in today’s midterm elections. A reconfigured Senate could mean changes in funding trickling to New Yorkers and stymied social issues.

A Republican-controlled Senate might gel well with leading gubernatorial candidate Democratic Andrew Cuomo, said Gerald Benjamin, dean of the State University of New York’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in New Paltz.

“The austerity that Cuomo has promised is a more welcome message in a Republican Senate,” he said.

Fervor for budget cuts could chop education and health care funding, the state’s biggest spenders. Also imperiled are Democrat-led campaigns like legalizing gay marriage, a popular issue that Birdsell said could limp along with Cuomo’s support.

“As a statewide issue, it’s a winner for Democrats,” said David Birdsell, dean of the Baruch College School of Public Affairs.

Between last year’s Albany shutdown and scandals like Senator Hiram Monserrate’s indictment for corruption charges, voters will bring a “not them” mentality to the polls today, Birdsell said.

Schumer moving up?


Today’s congressional elections may affect the career of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. If the Democrats hold the senate and Harry Reid (D-NV) loses his seat, Schumer is widely expected to make a push for Reid’s post as Senate Majority Leader. –Metro

Bell widow set for success

Nicole Paultre Bell, whose fiance Sean Bell died in a hail of NYPD bullets on their 2006 wedding day, is a strong contender in a seven-way special election for a vacant City Council seat in Jamaica, Queens, today. Bell is endorsed by the Rev. Al Sharpton and others. –Metro/AB

 
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