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NY Senate gets first female leader

January 09, 2019 07:05 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - For the first time the New York state Senate is now led by a woman.
    
Democrat Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers formally took over as Senate majority leader Wednesday, the first day of the 2019 legislative session. Stewart-Cousins' party wrested Senate control from Republicans in last Novembers' elections.
    
In the Assembly, Democratic Speaker Carl Heastie was re-elected, making it the first time both legislative chambers are led by African Americans.
    
Democrats now hold both chambers for the first time in a decade. They promise to pass several bills long blocked by the Senate's former Republican leaders, including ones tightening campaign finance limits, codifying abortion rights and giving molestation victims more time to sue their abusers.
    
Other top issues this year include marijuana legalization, sports betting and congestion tolls in Manhattan.

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