WXXI AM News

Capitol Bureau

If the numbers hold, Republicans are poised to remain in control of the State Senate, and even pick up a seat. The news has reassured business groups but dismayed reform advocates.

Democrats had hoped to make inroads into the State Senate- but preliminary results show the Republicans gaining one seat to hold a razor thin 32 seat majority.

Despite a corruption scandal among Republicans on Long Island,  incumbent GOP Senators apparently kept their seats, and won an open seat formerly held by a Republican.

In close races in the Hudson Valley, GOP candidates also held on , and in a Western New York swing district that includes portions of the Buffalo area, Republicans took the post back from Democrats.

On Tuesday, Democrats could win back the Senate from the Republicans, who have dominated the leadership there for much of the past century.

Changing demographics, the unpopularity of Donald Trump in New York and the efficiency of Hillary Clinton’s get –out- the- vote effort, are all contributing to the Democrats’ best chance in several years to take over control of the State Senate this Election Day.

New York is poised to elect Hillary Clinton for president and give Chuck Schumer a fourth term as U.S. senator, but down-ballot races for Congress and state Senate are less certain.

Clinton is leading Donald Trump by double digits in New York, but the race has tightened in the final days. Clinton is still ahead by 17 points, but the two are now even among independent voters, according to a poll by Siena College issued Nov. 6.

Matt Ryan New York Now

Recommendations on how to go forward with some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development contracts tainted by scandal have been delayed for another few weeks, the governor’s economic development chairman said.

Buffalo businessman and Empire State Development Chairman Howard Zemsky is trying to pick up the pieces after nine criminal complaints were issued against two former Cuomo associates, including a top former aide, along with the former head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, who oversaw the contracts for the Buffalo Billion and other projects.

Whichever party wins control of the state Senate on Nov. 8, they will likely have to govern along with a breakaway faction of Democrats who have been key to the power structure for several years now. 

If the state Senate is controlled by Democrats after the election, taxing and spending policies could see some differences. Many Democrats favor extending an income tax surcharge on millionaires when it expires next spring.

New York currently has a temporary income tax surcharge on the wealthy. The additional taxes affect those making more than $300,000 a year, with the rates growing higher for incomes over $1 million, and the highest rate for those making around $2 million or more.

There’s a greater chance than ever that the state Senate could be dominated by Democrats after the Nov. 8 election, meaning many issues stalled in the Republican-led Senate for years would have a possibility of passing. 

Campaign finance reform, the Dream Act — which offers college tuition support to the children of undocumented immigrants — and more money for underperforming schools are just a few items that might be approved under a Senate controlled by Democrats. 

New York Senior Senator Charles Schumer, in the only debate with his opponent, broadcast on Time Warner Cable, says he’s “appalled” by FBI director James Comey’s actions, including  the decision announced Friday  to re- examine emails from Hillary Clinton’s top aide for evidence of misuse of classified materials.

Schumer says he knows Comey and has worked with him in the past.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said one of the reasons he is actively campaigning for Democrats to take over the New York State Senate is that he believes he will have more success getting ethics changes done without the GOP in charge.

Cuomo, who’s been holding rallies for Democratic candidates in key Senate races, said he thinks a Legislature controlled by Democrats will be more willing to approve changes to address a wave of scandals plaguing state government.

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