Democrats captured control of the state Senate on Tuesday for the first time in more than 40 years, knocking off at least two Republican incumbent senators.
A third Republican incumbent was locked in a tight race . . .
If the results hold up, the Senate next year will have 32 Democrats and 30 Republicans. That will give Democrats control of every statewide office and both houses of the Legislature for the first time since the Great Depression.
New York State's legislative process has been fraught with gridlock for as long as I can remember. Maybe this will change the tide.
Bad News For Gay Rights
According to CNN a variety of anti-gay rights measures passed.
Gay marriage was banned in Arizona (Prop 102), California (Prop 8), and Florida (Amendment 2). Gay adoptions were banned in Arkansas (Initiative 1). The California measure was particularly troubling as many Californians have entered into same sex marriages during the period when the California Supreme Court declared that gay marriage was a state constitutional right this year. The California vote was 52-48 with 95% of the vote counted.
Good News For Choice
South Dakota defeated an abortion limitation measure (Initiative 11), as did California (Prop 4). Colorado defeated the "egg as a person" Amendment 48. Michigan voted to allow stem cell research. A measure allowing doctor assisted suicide passed in Washington State (Initiative 1000).
Editors at the South Dakota Argus Leader aren't too familiar with what abortion is, however. Terry Woster, writing in a November 5, 2008 write up on the South Dakota vote for the measure reported that "The margin for Initiated Measure 11- a proposed law to criminalize abortion unless done in cases of rape or pregnancy or to safe the life or health of a woman- was 55-45 with 736 of 799 precincts reported early Wednesday." Perhaps South Dakotans simply weren't too impressed with the pregnancy exception.
Michigan joined the ranks of states legalizing medical marijuana under state law. Given the current administration, this looks like a hopeful possibility.
An anti-immigration measure in Arizona (Prop 202) failed.
A measure ending affirmative action passed in Nebraska (Intiative 424), but the measure to end affirmative action in Colorado (Initiative 46) is very close but looks likely to fail.