The balance of power in Albany took a decided turn for the Democrats on Tuesday, and our hope is that their sudden ability to easily pass legislation will be tempered by the realization that they are representing a deeply divided populace.
Republicans swept the state legislative races for seats that cover parts of Cayuga County, but Democrats picked up enough seats in the state Senate to take control of that house and all but eliminate the checks and balances Republicans have historically provided.
Legalizing recreational marijuana, approving sports betting, and instituting universal health care are three hot-button issues that can be expected to show up on the Democratic agenda in 2019. But none of them are universally accepted as being the right moves to make — even among Democrats — so none of them should become law without careful planning regarding how they will affect the lives of all New Yorkers.
Democrats owe it to people from all across the state — and from all political leanings — to move thoughtfully and carefully to make sure that their legislation is as good as it can be, rather than push things through just because they can. For one thing, that should mean talking to their Republican colleagues, taking their concerns seriously, and crafting bills in ways that take those concerns into account.
In the end, Democrats may regret trying to accomplish too much too quickly, because if they begin passing controversial legislation that turns out to be flawed their numerical advantage in the Legislature might just disappear two years from now when their seats come back up for a vote.
The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Rob Forcey, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.