Senate Democrats announced on July 1 that the Brooklyn lawmaker Simcha Felder would be admitted into their ranks following the completion of a legislative session in which Felder has slowly worked his way into their good graces after they had rebuffed his attempt to join the conference following the 2018 elections.
Felder’s past alliance with the GOP – including giving them a one-seat majority in the chamber last year – meant that party leaders were in no hurry to bring him into the fold, especially since their large majority allowed them to easily pass their legislative priorities this year. But after he voted with Democrats on a number of key issues, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said the time has come to add a 40th Democratic senator to the conference, State of Politics reported Monday.
“This year, Sen. Felder joined our Senate Democratic majority in support of many crucial issues, including the strongest tenant protections in history, the new Green Light law, voting reforms and legislation to prevent gun violence,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement. “Accordingly, we will move forward with 40 diverse and united members joined by a shared commitment to continue delivering progressive results for our state.”