ALBANY — With the new state legislative session underway, the Republican minority of the state Assembly drew lines in the sand Wednesday and assured voters they will stand in the way of the New York City Democrats’ agenda.
The 2019 state legislative session started Wednesday and Assembly Republicans announced they will oppose legislation offered by the Democratic party.
“The role of the Assembly Republican Conference may never be as important as it will be this year,” said Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-102. “Democrats who have supported eliminating our STAR property tax checks, giving away free college to illegals and tablets to prisoners and raising our income taxes to pay for New York City government-rationed health care are now calling the shots in this state, Tague said. “Buckle up.”
Assembly Democrats held their majority in the 2018 election winning 106 seats to Republicans’ 43 and the Independence Party’s one. All 150 seats were up for grabs in November.
Democrats took control of the state capital by winning 40 seats to Republicans’ 23 in the Senate. All 63 Senate seats were up for election. With Democrats controlling the Assembly, Senate and executive branch, there is little to get in the way of whatever agenda they put forth. But so far Democratic legislators have not officially released an agenda for this session.
“It’s very apparent state Democrats have lost sight of what’s really important,” Tague said Wednesday. “Making the property tax cap permanent, ending Gov. Cuomo’s rigged economic development programs that raise our taxes, and affordable, accessible health care for all regions of New York.”
Cuomo released his agenda for the first 100 days of the session Dec. 17. It included a $150 billion infrastructure plan, continuation of the state’s tax cuts for the middle class, fighting the federal government on tax and health policies, passage of the DREAM Act to allow young people brought to the country illegally access to financial aid for college, and recodifying the Roe v. Wade decision under state health law.
Democrats in Albany have rallied together behind legislation that would move the state’s abortion rights from the penal code to the health code, something Democrats have sought for several years, but haven’t gotten past the historically Republican-led Senate.
Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, D-106, expressed hope that the legislation can pass this year with the shift in power when Cuomo listed it as one of his top priorities for the first 100 days of the session.
Ashby did not respond to a request for comment on the abortion legislation.
Tague offered a brief statement about recodifying Roe v. Wade under state health law.
“Assemblyman Tague is a devout Irish Catholic and supports the right to life,” spokesman Brian Murphy said.
“We are heading into uncertain times with Democrats holding a majority across state government,” said Assemblyman Jake Ashby, R-107. “I will be vigilant in opposing legislation that unleashes uncontrolled spending, burdensome tax increases and laws that limit the freedoms of law-abiding New Yorkers and abuse the power of government. It is my sincere hope that our Democrat colleagues in the Legislature do not blindly approve the governor’s agenda.”