State Senate Grinds to a Halt as Neither Party Can Make a Majority

State Senate Grinds to a Halt as Neither Party Can Make a Majority
State Senate Grinds to a Halt as Neither Party Can Make a Majority

That seemed unlikely anytime soon, of course, as Albany has another three weeks of legislative session before a six-month sojourn away from the Capitol. That period will also include the November elections, during which the Republicans may face strong political headwinds, including President Trump’s unpopularity in his home state.

Democrats, who reunified in April after a seven-year schism involving eight breakaway members, who formed the Independent Democratic Conference, are hoping to win outright control of the Senate.

While the Senate in generally more genteel than the larger, more verbose State Assembly, the scene on Thursday caused leaders of both conferences to take swipes at the other.

“The Democrats have decided they don’t want to govern,” said the Republican Senate leader, John J. Flanagan, of Long Island. “They want to have politics rule the day. It’s embarrassing, it’s disgusting.”

Mr. Flanagan’s Democratic counterpart, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, called Republicans’ actions “unprecedented” and “an assault on our democracy,” and accused Mr. Flanagan and his conference of stalling all legislation rather than considering the abortion bills her colleagues proffered on Wednesday.

“We are prepared to work with our colleagues across the aisle to go back to what is the normal process in this chamber,” said Ms. Stewart-Cousins, the minority leader from Westchester County. “I think people expect nothing less.”

The showdown, and the slowdown, in the Senate even prompted the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to wade in on Thursday. Its messenger was Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who serves as the official president of the Senate and who Democrats believe has a constitutional right to break any ties in the chamber.

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