Post Election Update
Tuesday’s elections will most likely have a dramatic impact on NYS government and higher education as the Democrats are poised to take control of the NYS Senate for the first time in over 40 years.
With one Queens Senate race “too close to call” and going through a recount at this time, the Democrats currently have won a 32-30 majority. However, four Democrat Senators have been unwilling at this time to commit to their caucus and are being courted by the current Senate Majority Leader, Dean Skelos, to have them join with the Republicans and maintain a Republican coalition majority. There remains much intrigue and persuasion until a final majority leader is elected. Should the Democrats prevail, all leadership and committee chairs and assignments will change which will result in a demanding and, at times confusing first couple of weeks of the 2009 session.
However, as is anticipated, the new Democrat majority will take over January 2009. Until then the Republicans maintain their 31-29 majority and will control the debate at the November 18th special session called by the Governor.
As for the Assembly, the Democrats have maintained their majority and have gained one seat in the process resulting in a 109-41 majority.
Changes from the 2008 Legislative membership for the 2009 session are as follows:
3rd SD Caesar Trunzo (R) defeated by Brian Foley (D)
11th SD Frank Padavan (R) & James Gennaro (D) – to close to call - recount
13th SD Hiram Monserrate (D) - Sabini (D) resigned
15th SD Serf Maltese (R) defeated by Joseph Addabbo (D)
25th SD Daniel Squadron (D) - Connor (D) lost in primary
33rd AD Pedro Espada (D) - Gonzelez (D) lost in primary
43rd SD Roy McDonald (R) - Bruno (R) retired
61st SD Michael Ranzenhofer (R) - Rath (R) retired
22nd AD Grace Meng (D) defeated Ellen Young (I) - Young (D) also lost primary
34th AD Michael DenDekker (D) - Lafayette (D) retired
40th AD Inez Barron (D) - Gordon (D) convicted/jailed
86th AD Nelson Castro (D) - Diaz (D) resigned
100th AD Tom Kirwan (R) was defeated by Frank Skatrdos (D)
112th AD Tony Jordan (R) - McDonald (R) elected to Senate
118th AD Addie Russell (D) - Aubertine (D) elected to Senate
142nd AD Jane Corwin (R) - Cole (R) lost in primary
As has been previously announced, Governor David A. Paterson has called for a November 18 special session of the Legislature to close a current-year budget shortfall.
While Assembly Speaker Silver, Majority Leader Skelos, Minority Leader Smith and Minority Leader Tedisco agreed to put forward $2 billion in current-year savings proposals before the beginning of the special session, it now appears that those lists will not be forthcoming before the special session. We now await the Governor’s recommendations.
Governor Paterson appointed Duffy Palmer as Deputy Secretary for Education on November 4, 2008. Previously, Mr. Palmer served as the Interim Secretary and was also Assistant Deputy Secretary for Education since March 2008 after serving as Director of Education Policy for the Governor since March 2007. Mr. Palmer is double SUNY alumni having received an Associates Degree from Genesee Community College and a Bachelor’s degree from the State University College at Buffalo. He also attended the State University of New York at Buffalo, Geneseo and Brockport. Mr. Palmer replaces Manny Rivera.
The Student Assembly recently approved a resolution in support of a rational tuition policy for SUNY.
Director of Legislative Relations
Office of University Relations
State University of New York