Stewart-Cousins now leads super-majority


State senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins will keep her job in Albany, leading the Democratic conference for yet another session after getting unanimous approval from her caucus.

“During our first session as the Democratic majority, we enacted historic legislation to protect and expand New Yorkers’ rights, and build a stronger and fairer state for all residents,” Stewart-Cousins said, in a release. “The voters clearly supported our effects and agenda as they elected the largest majority in senate history, and the first modern Democratic super-majority.

“We will use this mandate to help lead New York state forward as we address the ongoing pandemic, and rebuild from this economic crisis.”

Stewart-Cousins and Democrats were able to officially claim the super-majority status three weeks after the November election whean it became clear Democrats would control at least 42 of the 63 available seats.

Maintaining a super-majority means Democrats have enough members in their caucus to help override any gubernatorial veto. It joins the super-majority already in place in the Assembly — a majority that has existed for at least 20 years.

Still, it’s been a long time coming for Democrats in the upper chamber, which has only maintained such party control in the senate four times since 1992. The Republican control between 2011 and 2018 was primarily because of renegade Democratic state senator Jeffrey Klein, who created the Independent Democratic Conference and then joined with Republicans to give them the majority.

Klein and many members of his IDC were voted out of office by a group of candidates led by now-state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi in the wake of Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the White House in 2016.

Democrats previously had control of the senate in 2009 and 2010.