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“The vote is done, so all the what ifs, maybes, and should haves, those are no longer on the table,” said Democratic strategist Na’ilah Amaru, former executive director of the New York City Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus. “For both parties, this is an opportunity to push the reset button.”

Stewart-Cousins knew her caucus members and how they would vote, Amaru said. “To me that is a demonstration of political leadership and power of the Senate in terms of them being able to coalesce together as a block when it comes to a potential challenge from the executive branch.”

Budget negotiations will be telling, she said. “The deeper we get into negotiations, we’ll be able to see really the extent to how much damage this LaSalle nomination really cost both sides in terms of negotiating power.”

Left-leaning Democrats may look to further flex their muscles to dictate who they want for the chief judge. How Hochul responds to them will be telling, Amaru said. “To me that’s a hat tip in terms of who’s calling the shots and who feels like they have to recover capital that’s been lost because of this,” she said.

Read the full article, Hochul Confronts Tax, Budget Battles After Top Judge’s Defeat, published Feb. 16, 2023 on

Read the article (PDF).

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