NY Dems Likely to Keep Super-Majority, but Unexpected Republican Gains Could Impact Policy
By Yehudit Garmaise
New York Republicans flipped several seats in the state legislature and came within seven percentage points of winning the governor’s race, however, the Democrats in the “bluest of blue states,” as US Rep Lee Zeldin called NY, are likely to maintain the supermajority in both the state Assembly and state Senate.
While one party is said to have a “simple majority” or a “majority” when that party comprises more than 50% of the total seats in the legislature, when elected officials from one party comprise a number that is significantly higher than 51%, that party is said to comprise a “super majority.”
When legislatures have supermajorities, not only are their policies almost impossible to reshape, but their bills are veto-proof, meaning that the governor cannot veto them and send them back to the floor for more consideration.
Although Republicans won a few more seats than usual, Democrats probably will end up securing 102 seats, which is two more than they need for a supermajority.
Whether the state Senate also will attain a super-majority depends on the final results of one last Syracuse-area race between State Sen. John Mannion and his Republican challenger Rebecca Shiroff, the New York Post reported.
Even if the Dems maintain their supermajority, many Republicans remain optimistic about the gains they made in November.
“NY Voters sent a very clear message on Election Day,” US Rep.-elect Mike Lawler told Rockland Daily. “We not only flipped state Assembly and Senate seats, but New York is going to be sending 11 Republicans to Congress.
“Democrats would be well-advised to look at the results and recognize that many of the policies that they have enacted under one-party rule are not working: especially around issues of public safety.”
November’s very close races show that “something has changed,” a NY Republican political consultant said. “The Democrats from Albany got a wake-up call about their approach to crime after seeing how close governor’s election was and watching several seats that were considered ‘safely-Democratic’ flip to Republicans.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, Lawler said, “should re-evaluate how she has approached her job.”
If the governor and New York’s legislators “continue to refuse to further change bail reform and some of the other criminal justice reforms that have made our communities less safe, those elected officials will continue to be held accountable at the ballot box,” Lawler said. “Maybe it didn’t happen this time: but it will happen.
“Legislators who choose not to accept that people are tired of the Democrats’ extremism and their radical policies will suffer political consequences down the road.”