You Paid For It: The Senate Shift and Your Money


    There will be many changes in January when Democrats take over leadership of the New York State Senate – most people are talking about new legislation that may become law as a result.

    But here’s something a lot of people haven’t discussed – the economic impact on the Capital Region.

    Almost all our Senators are Republicans, who are used to being in the majority and having majority funds to dole out to organizations in their districts. When control of the Senate shifts, so too will the control of so-called member items, pet projects for lawmakers in their home districts.

    We’ve already learned that a project at the Empire State Aerosciences Museum in Glenville is in limbo because the Republican senator in that district says he’s not sure he’ll have access to state grant money. On the flip side, our region’s only Democratic senator, Neil Breslin, will be sitting in a good position to secure funds for projects in his Albany County district.

    Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group, says all districts should be treated equally regardless of which party is in power, but he is also quick to point out that historically that is not the way things have worked at the State Capitol.

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