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NYS Senate Leader still calling for Cuomo to resign, but says budget will go forward

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

New York State Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said Tuesday that she’s determined to steer the Senate through budget negotiations with Gov. Andrew Cuomo even though the governor has ignored her calls for him to resign over a sexual harassment scandal.                                                        

Stewart-Cousins and most of the majority-party Democrats in the chamber have called for Cuomo to leave after multiple women alleged that he sexually harassed them or behaved inappropriately.

Nevertheless, she said, the state budget -- which includes plans to help New Yorkers beat the COVID-19 pandemic and improve the economy -- has to be finished by the March 31 deadline, and she will need to work with the governor’s office to do it.

“I’ve made my opinions clear, I think the governor should resign, but I also understand that it is important that we do our job, and that will always be my focus,” Stewart-Cousins said.

She hinted that the Legislature may have more power to get its own proposals enacted this year, including a two-house agreement on a $7 billion package of tax increases for the wealthy and corporations, which is not in the governor’s plan.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.