New York State Senator Phil Boyle gave a summary of the plans and activities of our state government at our regular meeting on Wednesday, January 30th.
He began by describing the sea change that took place in state government as a result of last year’s elections, changing government from a Republican to a Democrat majority (that has occurred just twice in the last 50 years). The nine state senators from Long Island went from all Republicans to just three today. Most of the state senate Democrats are from New York City.
A number of the new senators are young, democratic socialists, and a large number of liberal, progressive measures, some languishing for years under Republican rule, have already been enacted. Phil summarized the pros and cons of some of the more controversial bills dealing with child abuse (statute of limitations), gun control legislation (red flag law, guns on school grounds), and legalization of recreational marijuana.
Phil talked about the effect of moving from a strong voting bloc, previously represented by nine Republican state senators, to a more diverse, and less experienced, contingent fighting for Long Island interests. He also described the dynamics between moderate and liberal Democrats, and of the budget realities that will eventually determine what legislation gets enacted.
Phil concluded by describing the new atmosphere in Albany as both exciting and “scary” – he then held a lively Q&A session.
Phil is shown above with Babylon Rotary Co-Presidents Charlie Spencer and Scott Lockwood.