Major change coming to Albany – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – State policy has long been criticized for the way decisions are made in Albany.

But as CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported on Tuesday, this is about to be overturned.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned in two weeks on Tuesday due to a sexual harassment scandal, leaves behind a legislative legacy that has been criticized for years, the so-called “three men in one room” process where the governor and two leaders legislators negotiate state affairs behind closed doors.

PICTURES: Andrew Cuomo through the years

For example, in 2013 Cuomo was now alongside two disgraced former lawmakers – former Speaker of the House Sheldon Silver and former Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

Sheldon Silver, far left, Andrew Cuomo, center, and Dean Skelos, far right. (Photo: CBS2)

In 2015, the three men were Cuomo, current Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie and then Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.

Now, for the first time in the history of the state, not all of these powerful three will be men.

READ MORE: Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul to become New York’s first female governor after Cuomo’s resignation announcement; “I am ready to lead”

Future Governor Kathy Hochul will sit alongside Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins ​​and Heastie.

“We now have two women and one man in the room who are really going to be able to advance African Americans, women, the LGBTQ community,” said Sonia Ossorio, president of the National Organization of Women of New York. . “Women have traditionally been under-represented in government as leaders. We don’t have a lot of the things we need, like affordable, quality child care. Too many families are left behind and education. Who will understand correctly? Mothers.

READ MORE: Lawmakers Respond to Cuomo’s Resignation, Republicans Hope It Restores “The Honor, Decency, Accountability of the New York State Government”

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer tweeted, in part: “I look forward to working with Kathy Hochul, who will become governor of a state with women leading the majority of the two chambers in the world. ‘Legislative Assembly, a woman serving as Chief Justice of our highest court, a woman as Attorney General, a woman as Secretary of State and our Acting Lieutenant Governor will also be a woman. “

The changes come years after former US prosecutor Preet Bharara mocked the three-man-in-a-room governor. It was after he accused the former Speaker of the Silver Assembly of corruption. In a speech he said in part: “Why three men? Can there be a woman? Does it always have to be white? How big is the room in which they can only hold three men? “

“Which is interesting when you really look at what has happened in the last 10, 12 years in our state government, we have had the rise of an African American governor and now the first woman to be governor because of the white male scandals, “said political scientist Basil Smikle.” I hope this changes the culture. I certainly think it will and I hope the kind of progressive state that New York claims to be. “

READ MORE: The Rise and Fall of Andrew Cuomo

Political experts say we’ll see how this new culture takes shape during budget negotiations and the start of the legislative cycle, which starts in January.

Political experts also say Cuomo confided in very few people, most of whom recently resigned. Those who know Hochul told CBS2 that they expected his management style to be more collaborative.

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