Experts expect new priorities as Dems take charge in NY Senate

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WOODBURY -

After overwhelming victories on Election Day, Democrats will have the majority in the state Senate for the first time in a decade -- but what could be their main priorities?

With control of the Senate, the Assembly and the governor's office, many say it's likely Democrats will approve measures that in the past faced Republican opposition. That could include strengthening pro-choice laws, toughening gun laws and passing measures to make it easier for New Yorkers to register to vote, or possibly allowing them to vote early.

"Historically, the Republicans have not been interested in getting more people to vote because the numbers in New York work against them," says political analyst Jerry Kremer. "So the Senate was never for election reform."

As for more nuts-and-bolts issues such as school aid and keeping down property taxes, Democrats say those will also be top priorities.

Todd Kaminsky, of Long Beach, will become the leader of Long Island's six-member Democratic state Senate delegation.

"We know how expensive it is to live here," he says. "We know that we want to keep millennials here and make sure that kids who graduate college are able to live here -- and make it an attractive place to live."

Legalizing recreational use of marijuana -- a topic at which Republicans also balked -- could also be voted on next year as well.

State legislators begin the new session in January and meet until the end of June.

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