New York State legislature starts new term

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ALBANY, NY (WENY) — As New York State lawmakers gathered for their first day of legislative session, they voted in Andrea Stewart-Cousins as the Senate Majority leader, making her the longest serving Democratic majority.

“She really is a wise and consensus building leader, so I’m thrilled she’s back as majority leader and look forward to getting back to work,” said State Senator Pete Harckham.

Lawmakers also voted for Robert Ortt as the Senate Minority Leader, and Carl E. Heastie as the Assembly Speaker, all of whom are serving another term.

Local State Senator Tom O’Mara was voted the chair of the finance and investigations committees.

“I look forward to continuing those roles and working to fight for New Yorker’s across New York but particularly upstate New York where we’re often forgotten from the downstate interests here in Albany,” he said.

During session Wednesday, lawmakers also discussed some of the issues they plan to tackle. And some said affordability is the biggest priority.

“We need to take real action this year for New Yorkers to work on the affordability. So that we can provide the opportunities for New Yorker’s and stem the exodus of New Yorker’s to other states,” O’Mara said.

O’Mara added to tackle this issue, they need to look at further reducing taxes for the middle class, alleviating unfunded mandates for local governments, and reducing “red tape” or regulations for businesses.


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