New Yorkers have been waiting for a Democratic majority in the state senate for a very long time. The election this past November finally granted Democrats their dream of control. However, on Monday, June 8th, it was taken away once again. Led by billionaire Tom Golisano, two Democratic state senators switched to the Republican side in a senate coup.
Golisano claims that his influence and involvement in the situation was to fix a broken government. Yet many believe that it was payback to the Democratic senators that he helped get elected, only to have become soft on the issues he cared about. Albany appears to be a madhouse as democrats are not taking the situation lightly. They believe that the switched senators were merely bought out by Golisano and his constituents. Golisano and his group known as Responsible New York, hope that more changes will come after this drastic move.
Many groups of people are being affected by the change, and the most upset are tax-paying LGBT(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) families. They believe they are, once again, forced into second class status as New York citizens. OUTspoken For Equality is extremely upset that control of the senate is back in the hands of legislative discrimination towards the LGBT community. The problems include the denial of equals rights as granted to straight couples, along with “basic needs such as safety, housing and health care.”
The issues involving the LGBT community is just the beginning. The switch to a Republican senate creates many problems for many lower to middle class citizens. It creates problems if something were to happen to Governor David Paterson because the next in line would be a Republican, since they are now the majority leader. The debate whether or not it was legitimate, or even legal, continues to be the real issue.